The Church of England arrived with English settlers and American Loyalists in the 18th Century. Their church, Christ Church, occupied the site where the Cathedral now stands.
|Old Christ's Church|
A Walk Through History
Bishop John Medley arrived in Fredericton on June 19, 1845. Newly appointed to the See of Fredericton, the 40 year old Medley immediately set about planning for construction of a magnificent new cathedral.
The Cathedral was modeled after St. Mary's, Snettisham, Norfolk. Today, the two cathedrals bear remarkable similarities to each other. The architectural style, imitating from another building, is known as "Revived Gothic".
The cornerstone for the new building was laid on October 15, 1845 by Lieutenant Governor Sir William Colebrooke. The service of consecration marking the official opening of the Cathedral would not take place until August 11, 1853, almost eight years later.
The tower of the Cathedral was the last major part to be constructed. The original plans called for a twin tower design, but soaring construction costs led to the choice of a single tower. The original design was published in the Illustrated London News in 1849.
On July 3, 1911, lightning struck the Cathedral and the resulting fire gutted the spire and destroyed the choir when the bells melted and fell to earth. It took over a year and $100,000 to rebuild the Cathedral. On August 12, 1912, Bishop Richardson led a rededication service for the restored building. The newly constructed spire rose to 198 feet.
In 1983, the Cathedral was declared a National Historic Site by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
The year 2003 marked the 150th anniversary of the Cathedral completion in 1853.
On August 6, 2006, a fire in the bell tower caused damage to the choir and the necessary repairs closed the Cathedral for several months.