Saturday, August 30, 2014

inSPIREd Sunday

August 2014 - Charlottetown PEI

The heritage value of St. Dunstan's Cathedral Basilica lies in its importance to the Roman Catholic community of Prince Edward Island; its magnificent French Gothic architecture; and its role as a landmark in Charlottetown.

The first St. Dunstan's was a small wooden chapel built in 1816. The church received its name from Archbishop Plessis of Quebec who, when he visited the capital in 1812, was received warmly by local Protestant British officials. He named the church that would later be built St. Dunstan's after the 10th Century English saint, as a goodwill gesture to those who had received him so well.
St. Dunstan's Roman Catholic Cathedral was designated a national historic site of Canada because it is a fine representative example of the High Victorian Gothic Revival style of architecture.

Designed and built in the French-inspired interpretation of the High Victorian Gothic Revival style by Quebec architect Francois-Xavier Berlinguet in 1896-1907, the cathedral suffered extensive fire damage in 1913 after which its interior was substantially redesigned and rebuilt in a more English-inspired idiom by architect J. M Hunter. St. Dunstan's is the centre of the Roman Catholic church in Prince Edward Island and the mother church of the diocese. It was consecrated and elevated to the status of Basilica in 1929.

Click on this photo of the plaque for Angus MacEachern - it is written in English, French, Gaelic and Indian.

With no organized means of transport, Father MacEachern constructed a combination of boat and sleigh; its lower part was made of rungs and crossbars like the ordinary sleigh still well enough known on the Island. Upon this was built a boat about eight feet in length fastened by iron stays to the framework beneath. In the boat he placed whatever he required for personal use and for saying Mass. A horse was harnessed to this hybrid contrivance and he was thus equipped to travel over the snow covered land or on the ice along the shores of the many small rivers and bays of his Large territory. Should his horse break through the ice, the boat would float and thus preserve its precious contents. It is presumed that on occasion the horse would be unharnessed and the boat on its runners launched into short stretches of open water to be hauled up on the ice on the further side.

The boat!


  1. Such wonderful details. Tom The Backroads Traveller

  2. Wow. What an interesting history surrounding this church. It is really beautiful.

  3. i really enjoy the looking up into the skies shot ... that is very holy like.
    sorry i am late commenting ... i have been away. ( :


This blog does not allow anonymous comments.