National Historic Sites
REV. DR. JOHN CLINCH PLAQUE
Commemorates the first
smallpox vaccination in North America. Clinch
(1749-1819) was born in England, came to
Newfoundland in 1775 and settled in Trinity
where he died. He was a surgeon and clergyman
also a colleague and friend of Dr. Jenner, the
discoverer of the vaccine, who sent some to
Clinch. He vaccinated his family and 700
persons in Trinity (1799) and many more hundreds
in St. John's and Portugal Cove when news of his
success in Trinity spread to the capital.
Commemorates Whitbourne who
first visited Trinity on a fishing voyage in
1579. Trinity was his headquarters for forty
years thereafter. He held the first Court of
Admiralty in the New World at Trinity in 1615
and wrote, in 1622, what was believed to be the
first book about Newfoundland.
These consist of
the waterfront area on which once stood the
commercial and fishery buildings of the
Taverners, Lesters, Garlands and Lester-Garlands
during the period 1700-1906 and in the twentieth
century Ryan Brothers. By the mid-1960s only
the demolished remains of the Lester-Garland
brick dwelling house and a deteriorating Garland
(Ryan) Shop remained. The Trinity Interpretation
Centre, a restored Lester-Garland Counting
House, Garland (Ryan) Shop, the recently
constructed Rising Tide Arts Centre and the
reconstructed Lester-Garland House now occupy
LESTER-GARLAND COUNTING HOUSE AND GARLAND (RYAN)
The shop, part of the Lester-Garland Premises
Provincial Historic Site, has been restored.
Purchased in 1906 by the Ryan Brothers from the
Lester-Garlands, the building dates from the
early 19th century. The "counting house", is to
the left of the shop, from the earlier period.
This mercantile building of the Lester-Garland
Premises has been restored as an example of a
counting house of the early 1800s and a typical
outport general store of the 1910 period. It is
operated by the Department of Tourism, Culture
Once a family home in Trinity , the building was
relocated to the present site in 1991. The
centre is operated by the Department of Tourism,
Culture and Recreation as an exhibit and
information centre about Trinity and the
TIDE ARTS CENTRE
The Centre was constructed in
1999 on the site and in the style of Lester's
fish store #2 which was removed in the 1960s.
It is the headquarters of the theatre festival
performed each summer.
LESTER-GARLAND HOUSE/WESSEX LEARNING CENTRE
This building is a Georgian
brick house whose reconstruction was undertaken
by The Trinity Trusts in Canada and England, the
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the
Government of Canada. It was completed between
October, 1996 and June, 1997, incorporating what
was left in 1996 of the original stone
foundations and brick end walls. The house was
rebuilt in 1819-20 by John Bingley Garland, the
first Speaker of the House of Assembly of
Newfoundland, and his brother George, on the
site of the Lester House (1764-66), which was
owned by George Garland's father-in-law Benjamin
Lester. It was probably the original foundation
of the Taverner Home of 1748. The house was
vacated in 1948 and essentially demolished by
1964. It is maintained and operated by The Trinity Historical
Society as a museum and learning centre.
This house has been restored
and furnished to the 1910 period as an example
of a typical merchant’s household in rural
Newfoundland. It was built in 1881 for Richard
and Emma Hiscock (Pittman) - a substantial
two-and-one half storey, gable roofed dwelling.
Richard built a forge for himself and a shop
for Emma. The shop portion now houses a
handicraft shop and an interpretative exhibit on
the “Hiscocks of Trinity”. The garden is cared
for by the children of Trinity. The site is
owned and operated by the Department of Tourism,
Culture and Recreation.
METHODIST SCHOOL (1830)
This building was used as a
Meeting House and School. It was bought by the
Society of United Fishermen in the 1950s and
used by that fraternity until the school was
purchased by the Government of Newfoundland in
1980. It is now used by the Trinity Historical
Society for storage of artifacts. The second
Wesleyan/Methodist Church, built in 1877, was
located on the knoll to the left (east) of the
school and was taken down in 1935.
ST. PAUL’S ANGLICAN CHURCH
This is the third church on
this site. The first was constructed in 1729.
The second was begun in 1820 because of needed
repairs and insufficient space, and consecrated
in 1827 for which the hymm “We Love the Place, O
God” was composed by the Rector, the Reverand
William Bullock. It was removed in 1892 because
it was no longer large enough. The present
Church was begun in 1892 and consecrated in 1894
by Bishop Jones who labelled it "The Gem of the
Diocese". The spire is 102 feet high. The
seating capacity is a little over 500. The
Church Registers date from 1753, one of the
oldest such sets in Canada.
THE PARISH HALL
The corner stone of this
Church-owned building (Anglican) was laid in
1895. It was the social and entertainment
centre of the town at one time. Plays, dances,
movies and other entertainment were presented
there. It was also the meeting place for
various social, fraternal and self-improvement
clubs, organizations and Church groups. Today,
it is still being used.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY
This is the oldest standing Church in
Newfoundland. It was built in 1833. The tower
was added in 1880.
There are five cemeteries in
the town, two Anglican (one dating from at least
1757), two Methodist/United Church and one Roman
OLD CHURCH OF ENGLAND CEMETERY
Located in St. Paul's churchyard. Headstones
date to August 31, 1757 (Francis Squibb).
Persons of all Christian denominations of the
period are buried here.
NEW CHURCH OF ENGLAND (ANGLICAN) CEMETERY
This cemetery replaced the old St. Paul’s
churchyard. It was opened on August 23, 1880.
The Mortuary Chapel, one of the remaining few in
Newfoundland, is located here.
WESLEYAN METHODIST CEMETERY
Used for members of this congregation until the
new one on Gun Hill was opened. Most headstones
are no longer upright.
UNITED CHURCH CEMETERY
Located off Victoria Road on Gun Hill.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CEMETERY
This cemetery is further along Glen Cove Path
from the present Anglican cemetery.
Registered Heritage Structures
Several structures have been
designated as Registered Heritage Structures by
the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and
Labrador in recognition of the built heritage of
the Town and which demonstrate features of
architectural significance. The
designation is awarded upon application by the
owner of the structure. For more information
please visit the
Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and
Privately-Owned Built Heritage
Including the structures
listed above, many privately-owned homes and
other buildings date to the 1850-90 period and
have been restored or are maintained as near as
possible to their original condition. In 1995,
an inventory of historic building identified
fifty (50) architecturally significant buildings
in the Historic Area of Trinity which were
constructed prior to 1920. Thirty-four of these
were private homes; three were churches,
including the Mortuary Chapel; one hall; two
forges; two schools and eight other buildings.
Of these thirty-four homes, twenty-two were
considered to be “structures in original
condition, ones whose features (sheathing,
windows, doors, trim) were in original form
whose additions did not affect its historical
integrity”. The remaining twelve were
“structures in altered condition, but are
important by virtue of age, history or