Beneath the modern facade of the apartment building at 433 Charlotte Street in Fredericton lies the historical 1830 Presbyterian church, fondly referred to as “the Auld Kirk.”
The two-story wooden church, complete with a protruding tower, was constructed based on the design plans of William Taylor and realized by Mr. Fitzpatrick. The completion of the building in 1830 marked the establishment of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, formally organized in 1832. In response to the growing congregation’s needs, the Auld Kirk underwent expansion around 1840. However, by 1881, the Church Trustees decided to replace the Kirk with a new place of worship, leading to the old church’s new nickname, the “Old Kirk,” or more commonly, the “Auld Kirk.”
Over the years, the Auld Kirk underwent several renovations and modifications to accommodate its growing congregation. The bell, first installed in the original Kirk in 1832, was transferred to the new St. Paul’s Church in 1885. Subsequent to this, the tower was detached from the Auld Kirk, significantly altering its external appearance.
The Auld Kirk is unique in Fredericton’s history as the only known building to have been relocated twice. In preparation for the new St. Paul’s Church construction, the Auld Kirk was shifted to the lot’s rear. Initially positioned on George Street, the Auld Kirk was relocated to York Street by William Price in May 1882. For the subsequent 34 years, the Auld Kirk functioned as a Sunday School associated with St. Paul’s Church. A donation from the Donald Fraser estate in 1916 facilitated the replacement of the Auld Kirk with a new building. Instead of demolishing the Auld Kirk, it was sold and moved to its current position.
Before its relocation, a farewell service was conducted in the Auld Kirk on May 28, 1916. Its move from York Street to Charlotte Street represented the most significant building relocation endeavor in Fredericton’s history, carried out by William Gough. Upon conversion to an apartment complex, the building retained its historical moniker and is still known today as the Kirk Apartments.
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