Links and documents
1822/01/01 to 1823/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
St. Paul’s Anglican Church Provincial Historic Site is a Neo-classical style church with added Gothic embellishments, situated near the Miramichi River on a gentle elevation at the east end of the parish of Chatham in the City of Miramichi.
St. Paul’s exists as the first Anglican church on the Miramichi River and the most significant example of a pre-Medlay church in northern New Brunswick. Built in the Neo-Classical style using Neo-Gothic flourishes, in 1822-23, St. Paul’s was consecrated by Anglican Bishop John Inglis on October 10, 1826. This church is the work of the county’s foremost builder and architect, Presbyterian Scot, William Murray.
St Paul’s is a significant early example of stylistic transition in New Brunswick church architecture. Described by its first rector, Samuel Bacon in 1823 as a church "built in the Gothic style of Architecture". St. Paul’s is unquestionably a product of an earlier, vernacular tradition inspired by the Neo-Classical churches of the American colonies. With the exception of the east end, all windows are original to the church and as such are among the earliest known Gothic windows in New Brunswick.
In addition, its historical association with early nineteenth century builder and architect William Murray increases the church’s significance as a Miramichi landmark. Murray, known throughout the region for his craftsmanship, was responsible for several other outstanding New Brunswick structures. The quality of the workmanship in St. Paul’s confirms Murray’s influence, particularly the delicate treatment of the window tracery and sashes, the well executed proportions of the staircase leading to the gallery, and the Neo-Classical interior panelling.
St. Paul’s Anglican Church is the first Anglican church on the Miramichi and a significant example of a pre-Medley church in northern New Brunswick. St. Paul’s influence over the social and cultural life of north eastern New Brunswick is evident as the mother church of the Anglican community in the Miramichi region. St. Paul’s influence is confirmed by the names of notable citizens buried in the nearby church yard.
The vestibule of St. Paul’s contains a sign of uncommon interest. This sign contains several hand-written paragraphs of text and bears the title "On Public Worship". This piece was prepared to instruct the congregation of St. Paul’s on the basic forms and attitudes concerning the Anglican liturgy in the pre-Medley era. Original to the church and dating from the time of the first rector, Rev. Samuel Bacon, this sign speaks to the social and religious context of the people of this parish.
Source: Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport - Heritage Branch - Site File # 28
The character-defining elements of St. Paul's Anglican Church include:
- the original location of the church and cemetery;
- wood construction with shingled exterior walls.
The character-defining elements relating to Neo-Gothic flourishes include:
- eight single lancet, pointed arch windows with gentle intersecting tracery in the nave;
- suggestion of a rounded trefoil design in the groupings of double lancet, pointed arch windows in the tower;
- placement of decorative buttresses to the base of the tower and the embattlement and pinnacles at the top of the tower;
- low pitch of the roofline, plain applied corner pilasters, square, clear glass panes in the body of each nave window and the dominant Neo-classical pediment at either end of the building, confirming the church’s strong Neo-classical influence.
Details reflecting the transition of architectural styles from Neo-classical to Gothic captured in the east end of the church include:
- lack of distinctive chancel addition as would have typified the floor plan of a later Gothic church;
- with the exception of the triple lancet windows, the entire pre-Gothic composition with its dominant Neo-classical pediment and applied pilasters at the corners of the building.
The Neo-Classical detail revealed in the rather plain church interior include:
- ceiling curving downward to a heavy moulding where it meets the walls;
- plastered walls and ceiling with an applied wooden 12-pointed star representing the twelve tribes of Israel is placed in the centre of the ceiling and each of the four corners feature a dark brown shell motif applied to the ceiling;
- back gallery fronted with Neo-classical decorative moulding and stylized panelling;
- sign in the vestibule, "On Public Worship".
Province of New Brunswick
Historic Sites Protection Act, s. 2(1)
Historic Sites Protection Act – Historic
1826/01/01 to 1826/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport - Heritage Branch - Site File #28
Cross-Reference to Collection