Description of Historic Place
St. Bernard’s Church includes a Catholic Gothic Revival freestone church, a Norman-Gothic freestone rectory, and the surrounding grounds. It is located at the corner of Botsford Street and Queen Street in Moncton.
St. Bernard's Church and Rectory was designated a Local Historic Place because of its significant Gothic Revival architecture. Built between 1887 and 1891, it was the first masonry church building in Moncton. It served St. Bernard’s Parish, the first Roman Catholic parish in Moncton.
Under the congregation’s first pastor, Father Henry A. Meahan, architect George Fairweather and contractor Angus B. LeBlanc erected a Gothic Revival structure of quarry-faced freestone. In keeping with Gothic Revival architecture, almost every opening is a Gothic arch, and the extensive use of foil tracery is apparent. Vertical elements, such as a bell tower and spires help to break up the rectangular massing of the overall structure.
St. Bernard’s Rectory is recognized for its significant Norman-Gothic architectural style. It was built between 1914 and 1915 by architect René Arthur Frechet and contractor T. D. LeBlanc. This two-story stone residence consists of a main structure of square massing and a crenellated tower on the southwest corner. The interior of the rectory contains many of its original elements. In 1962, architects LeBlanc, Gaudet, Roy and Siennes and contractor Thaddee Bourque & Son modernized the rectory and made the necessary changes to the sanctuary with respect to Vatican II.
In 1996, St. Bernard’s Church, the rectory and grounds were designated a Heritage Property through the City of Moncton Heritage Preservation By-Law #Z-1102.
Source: Moncton Museum, Moncton, New Brunswick - second floor files – “43 Botsford Street”.
The character defining elements of the church that relate to the location or context include:
- traditional east-west nave orientation.
The character-defining elements of the church that are structural include:
- rectangular massing;
- steeply pitched roof;
- west roof gable and tower parapets with crucifixes;
- square bell tower on southwest corner with bell
The character-defining elements of the church include:
- quarry-faced cut stone in broken course;
- decorated cornerstone dated 1888;
- all interior and exterior wooden and masonry architectural detail and decoration;
- bronze sculptures of The Good Shepherd with three sheep over portico;
- dogtooth masonry on triangular tower parapets;
- small spires with triangular pediments;
- pinnacles with pyramidal and conical caps;
- cruciform finials;
-three wooden double doors with Gothic arch transom with trefoil and quatrefoil tracery and other associated detail;
- stained glass windows and large stained glass rose window and all associated details;
- Gothic arch moulding with circular stops over stained glass lancet windows in clerestory;
- Gothic arch arcades on Doric clustered pillars separating east-west nave from aisles to the north and south;
- octagonal apse with ribbed vault sanctuary;
- - pipe organ in choir loft;
- iconography in stained glass, saintly stone and wooden sculptures and sculpted “Stations of the Cross” with matching rood.
The character-defining elements of the rectory that are structural include:
- square massing;
- square crenellated tower on southwest;
- hipped roof with shed dormers and a stone chimney.
The character-defining elements of the rectory include:
- triple Gothic arch lancet windows on the second story of the tower and associated detail;
- Tudor arch windows in tower and associated details;
- rectangular and segmented arch window openings and associated details;
- segmented arch door and window openings trimmed with shaped moulding and keystones;
- stone modillions;
- small spires;
- engaged columns on tower;
- simple parapets;
- recessed Tudor arch cabinets with glass doors trimmed with moulding and engaged pillars;
- plain entablature trim over doors facing the corridors;
- carved newel posts and balustrade on original wooden staircase;
- original baseboards and moulding;
- curved ceilings at the wall joints.