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Precious Blood Church and Bell House

St. Andrew's, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0N, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2001/09/15

View of main facade of Precious Blood Church and Bell House, St. Andrew's, NL.; Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador 2005
Precious Blood Church and Bell House, St. Andrew's
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/02/02

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Precious Blood Church is a Roman Catholic church in St. Andrew’s on Newfoundland’s west coast. Built in 1912, it is a timber framed wooden church built in the Romanesque style. This designation is confined to the footprint of the church building and bell house.

Heritage Value

Precious Blood Church is designated as a Registered Heritage Structure due to its architectural, historic and environmental values.

Precious Blood Church in St. Andrew’s is architecturally valuable as an excellent example of the Romanesque style of architecture employed in a rural setting. While the main elements of the Romanesque are preserved such as rounded arches the design is essentially simplified. For instance, the church is constructed of wood rather than stone and the layout itself is simplified. The general pattern three level pattern of the arcade, triforium and clerestorey is preserved but simplified. These simplifications represent the rural setting in which the church is set.

The church is constructed mainly of local fir and other local materials donated by the parishioners. Furthermore, the church was built by the parishioners and the fact that it remains standing almost 100 years later stands as a testament to the quality of craftsmanship during this period.

Precious Blood Church is historically valuable for its association with the MacIssac and MacNeill families. While the church was built by members of the congregation, two people in particular are noted as having made an important contribution to the construction of the church; Steve MacIssac and Dan MacNeill. The MacIssac and MacNeill families are credited as the first settlers in St. Andrew’s. These families were Scottish who arrived from Nova Scotia in the mid-19th century.

The grounds of Precious Blood Church feature a bell house that was built in the 1940 and houses a bell that is over 100 years old. This bell house is valuable as a rare church feature. Most churches feature a bell tower as a part of the church, a separate bell house is a rarity in Newfoundland.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, unnumbered property file, St. Andrew's - Precious Blood Church and Bell House.

Character-Defining Elements

All elements that define the building's Romanesque design including:
-wooden construction;
-interior woodwork;
-wood shingles;
-rounded arches, keystone motif;
-transom window over doorways;
-narrow clapboard;
-arcade, triforium and clerestorey windows;
-stained glass;
-spires on main façade of church;
-rounded apse at rear of church; and,
-wooden doors with with glass inserts.

All those vernacular design features of the bell house, including:
-building height, massing and dimensions;
-placement of bell;
-location of bell house in relation to the church; and,
-traditional wood construction.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Statute

Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type



Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland, 1 Springdale Street, St. John's, NL, A1C 5V5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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