Newfoundland & Labrador's Registered Heritage Structures
The Mortuary Chapel is a wooden, Gothic Revival structure built in 1880 to service the Trinity area. It is one of few remaining mortuary chapels in Newfoundland and Labrador. These chapels were used primarily as funeral sites with regular religious services taking part in larger churches. The Trinity Mortuary Chapel employs elements of Gothic style with its steeply pitched gable roof, decorative finials on the ridge of roof, pointed arch windows and cupola topping the porch.
The Gothic Revival style was the accepted architectural style of Anglican buildings in Newfoundland from the mid 1800s until after the First World War. In an outport context, Gothic Revival buildings are often simplified in terms of both decoration and materials and are typified by their neatness and regularity.
The Mortuary Chapel in Trinity is accentuated by several stain glass memorials. They were placed in the chapel to commemorate the lives of residents of Trinity and surrounding communities who had died in the First World War. A large marble plaque mounted on an interior wall commemorates the contribution of George Garland Jr. to the church. George was the grandson of Benjamin Lester, who established a large mercantile premises in Trinity during the 1700s. Unlike many English "merchant princes" who spent little time in Newfoundland, George Jr. lived in Trinity for many years and, as witnessed by this memorial, made a positive impression upon the residents of the community.
The Mortuary Chapel is still used for wakes and funerals, as well as for regular church services during the winter. It was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in September 1999.