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Vieille Église de Saint-Henri de Barachois

Highway 133, Barachois, New Brunswick, E4P, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/08/12

This image of the front facade presents the tower with a belfry with clerestory windows and a spire built in 1884.; PNB 2005
View of the font facade of the building
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/11

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Église Saint-Henri-de-Barachois is a wooden, Acadian-style Roman Catholic church built in 1824, located at 1350 Route 133 in Grand Barachois.

Heritage Value

The Église Saint-Henri-de-Barachois Provincial Historic Place, built in 1824, is the oldest wooden Acadian church in the Maritimes. It demonstrates a blending of Gothic, Gothic Revival, neo-Renaissance, and classical elements that create a distinctly Acadian style. The church was built under the supervision of Father Antoine Gagon, a strong Acadian nationalist and passionate defender of the French language. He was the first to propose separate dioceses in New Brunswick and championed education among Francophones. Father Antoine Gagnon is buried on site. Construction of the church began in 1824, under the direction of Hilaire Arsenault, a carpenter from Barachois. The high altar is the work of Léon Léger, a renowned Maritime architect, sculptor, and ornamentalist. The painting over the arch in front of the nave and the painting of the Lamb of God on the ceiling of the sanctuary appear to be the work of Thomas Vital Arsenault, an artist from Barachois. The stencilling is also his handiwork. Source: New Brunswick Culture and Sport Secretariat, Heritage Branch, Site File # 25.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of Église Saint-Henri-de-Barachois include: - the frame of the original church (central section) erected in 1824; - the current façade and the tower with a belfry with clerestory windows and a spire built in 1884; - the current sacristy built in 1900; - the main rectangular nave adjacent to a smaller rectangular sacristy; - the bell tower, the sacristy, the semi-circular arched windows, and the doors dating back to the end of the nineteenth century - the burial site of Father Antoine Gagnon. The key elements on the inside include: - two spiral staircases giving access to the side galleries; - columns surmounted by Doric capitals support a balcony with an arcading railing; - the columns meet the ceiling in elliptic arches; - stenciling is visible on some of the columns; the walls and ceiling are entirely of lathwork; - decorations and sculptures embellish the high altar and side altars; - the painting over the arch at the front of the nave, the painting of the Lamb of God on the ceiling, and the stenciling; - the elaborate pews; - the electric sanctuary lamps hanging from the vaulted ceiling.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Province of New Brunswick

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites Protection Act, s. 2(2)

Recognition Type

Historic Sites Protection Act – Protected

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

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



Léon Léger

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

New Brunswick Culture and Sport Secretariat, Heritage Branch, Site File # 25.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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