Links and documents
1878/01/01 to 1887/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
St. John the Baptist Church is a wooden Anglican church built in the Neo-Gothic style and located prominently atop a hill at the corner of Church and Costigan streets in the City of Edmundston.
The St. John the Baptist Church Provincial Historic Site was constructed over a period of years between 1878 and 1887 and based on a design provided by Anglican Bishop John Medley. This building is significant because it serves as the most northerly example of Medley’s program to build distinctive Neo-Gothic churches throughout New Brunswick. His 47 year episcopate saw more than 100 Neo-Gothic churches built in the province.
The church’s distinctive architecture, expressed in the low walls, steep gable-ends and deep verges and eves, is reminiscent of Scandinavian stave churches of the same era. These vernacular features of the Gothic Revival are among the aesthetic components associated with Medley-influenced churches throughout the province. The Anglican community’s continuing commitment to religious aesthetics is evident in the large exterior tower and steeple, a three-stage Gothic design by Canon Nicolo Franchetti, which was added to the north west side of the church in 1927.
The church has played a role in the cultural and spiritual heritage of the city of Edmundston for well over a century. It represents the presence of an active Anglican community in the predominately Francophone northwest during Edmundston’s significant late 19th century expansion of industry through railroads and lumber mills. A burial ground borders the building on three sides and reflects the church’s close ties to families in the surrounding community.
Consecrated in 1887, St. John the Baptist Anglican Church is the oldest surviving church in the city. It is acknowledged as a community landmark.
Source: New Brunswick Culture and Sport Secretariat, Heritage Branch, Site File # 44.
Character-Defining Elements of St. John the Baptist Anglican Church include:
- exterior architectural treatment being a straightforward wood frame construction with the use of clapboards and decorative wooden buttresses in the Gothic style;
- large exterior tower and steeple;
- central aisle nave plan unchanged from the 1880's with the original entrance centered at the west end;
- church’s relatively intact interior where the 1887 chancel is set apart from the nave by obvious ‘ogee’ brackets placed where the wall meets the vaulted ceiling;
- key elements in the building’s Neo-Gothic composition including a large triple lancet window above the altar serving as the focal point of the building’s interior, balanced by a triple lancet window over the main entrance with single lancet windows in the rest of the nave.
Province of New Brunswick
Historic Sites Protection Act, s. 2(1)
Historic Sites Protection Act – Historic
1887/01/01 to 1887/01/01
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
Heritage Branch - Site File 109, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Cross-Reference to Collection