Church of St. Mary the Virgin

The Church of St. Mary the Virgin is a small wooden Gothic Revival church located prominently at 373 New Maryland Highway in the Village of New Maryland.

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The Church of St. Mary the Virgin Provincial Historic Site is significant because of its association with the Neo-Gothic architectural programme of Anglican priest-architect Rev. Edward S. Medley and, his father, Bishop John Medley. Here the two Medleys have collaborated to render a diminutive, wooden, mid-Victorian church-building translated from more formal stone compositions in England dating back to the Middle Ages. Designed by Rev. Edward S. Medley in 1863 and completed the following year, this church was consecrated by Bishop John Medley. It serves as a noteworthy example of the more that 100 Neo-Gothic churches erected in New Brunswick during the 47 year episcopate of John Medley (1845-1892).

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A wholehearted expression of the Gothic Revival in rural church-building, this church is also important because of the particular refinement of its architectural components. It exists as one of the finest Medley-inspired, Neo-Gothic, wooden churches in New Brunswick. It presents a compelling interpretation of High Victorian architectural theory transferred from England and adapted to the New Brunswick countryside. The porch-nave-chancel arrangement is an imaginative blend of architectural forms, original among New Brunswick churches.

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Inspired by other much larger church buildings of the Gothic manner, St. Mary the Virgin reflects a dramatic emphasis on exterior vertical lines reaching upward along the walls of the building, ending in a distinctive bell turret. This verticality is accentuated further by board-and-batten exterior construction punctuated frequently in the architectural pattern by the characteristic pointed arch motif over windows, doorways and gables.

Surrounded by cemetery stones nestled in a churchyard, the Church of St Mary the Virgin held a central place in the life of the rural community for well over 100 years.