Memorial Chapel / Commemorative Church
Chapelle commémorative / église commémorative
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The dominant structure in Grand-Pre National Historic Site, the Grand-Pre Memorial Chapel is a simple, rectangular-plan stone building with a steeply pitched bell-cast roof. It has a simple front-end gable, and above the large front double doors is a round window containing a stained glass depiction of the Acadian expulsion. The Church interior is illuminated by small arched windows, which pierce the sidewalls. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Memorial Chapel is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Memorial Chapel Grand-Pre is one of the best examples of a structure built to present and commemorate the Acadian expulsion as popularized in the poem of Evangeline by Henry Wordsworth Longfellow. The Grand-Pre site is commonly accepted as the location where the Acadians were held before the deportation. The site is also associated with the historian John Frederic Herbin, who formed the Grand-Pre Preservation-Restoration and Acadian-Longfellow Memorial Movement, with the aim of purchasing the present site and developing it as an Acadian memorial.
The Memorial Chapel is a very good example of a structure built in the traditional Quebec manner. Its value lies in its emulated eighteenth century French Regime design, and in its French vernacular architectural influence, as exemplified by the flared eaves. Its value also lies in the very good quality of its materials and craftsmanship.
The Memorial Chapel is the dominant structure in Grand-Pre National Historic Park and establishes the historic character of the area. It is a familiar and symbolic landmark to both residents and visiting tourists.
Sources: Shannon Rickets, Grand-Pre National Historic Site, Grand-Pre, Nova Scotia. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 91-168; Memorial Chapel / Commemorative Church, Grand-Pre, National Historic Park, Grand-Pre, Nova Scotia., Heritage Character Statement 91-168.
The character-defining elements of the Memorial Chapel should be respected.
Its early settlement inspired design and good quality materials and craftsmanship as evidenced in:
- the simple rectangular plan;
- the simple steeple set on the roof just behind the main entrance, and the steeply pitched copper roof with bell-cast eaves;
- the twin stone chimneys of rough-cut fieldstone placed towards the rear of the building;
- the rough-cut fieldstone exterior walls;
- the unobstructed interior designed to act as a museum, with its barrel-vaulted
space, wide double doors, side windows and large round window with stained glass window over the entrance;
- the interior mouldings on the vault and wall with dentiled cornice and window surrounds.
The manner in which the Memorial Chapel is an important symbolic landmark establishing the present character of the historic site within the scenic landscape of Grand-Pre National Historic Site.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Classified Federal Heritage Building
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection
Grand-Pré National Historic Site of Canada
Grand-Pré National Historic Site of Canada is located at the former Acadian village of Grand-Pré, beside the upper Bay of Fundy, north of Wolfville, Nova Scotia. The site consists…