Community Historic Sites
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.
SIR RICHARD WHITBOURNE PLAQUE
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.
Provincial Historic Sites
THE LESTER-GARLAND PREMISES
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 this site.
THE LESTER-GARLAND COUNTING HOUSE AND GARLAND (RYAN) SHOP
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 and Recreation.
THE TRINITY INTERPRETATION CENTRE
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 surrounding area.
RISING 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 Catholic.
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.
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 Labrador.
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 architectural character”.