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Our Heritage

The Southern Avalon is rich in history and heritage. Settled as far back as the 1500's, influences of old French, English, and Irish prevail. The Irish were the last to colonize the area and still have a significant cultural influence in the region.

In keeping with this heritage the Southern Avalon also hosts a
traditional Newfoundland Irish Concert by the Southern Shore
Folk Arts Council in Ferryland, and the Tramore Theatre Troupe
in Cuslett performs scheduled plays by Agnes Walsh throughout
the summer. The bi-annual Newfoundland/Ireland
Festival of the Sea takes place here in September 2009.

Please Click Here for more information about
our heritage and the events that celebrate it!

Ferryland - Colony of Avalon

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Ferryland was first used by French fishermen as early as 1504 as a base for the summer fishery. They called it Forillon, meaning "standing out from the mainland", which described the peninsula now known as the Downs. The French eventually abandoned the area early in the sixteenth century in favor of the south coast, where fishing began a month earlier. Englishmen later built temporary quarters at Ferryland and in 1622 Sir George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, received a grant with quasi-royal jurisdiction to colonize the southeastern peninsula area. Over the past decade archaeologists have excavated his Colony of Avalon. Other historic attractions include Historic Ferryland Museum which showcases the town's role in the colonization of North America, and the Gothic Revival style Holy Trinity Church, built 1865 and the last remaining of five stone churches constructed during this period.

Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve

Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve

Embedded in the planes of Mistaken Point's tilted and cleaved mudstone and sandstone, exposed by the pounding of the Atlantic waves, are fossils of the oldest creatures - in fact, the oldest complex life forms found anywhere on Earth.The Reserve is the only place in the world where you can view a 565-million-year-old sea floor that accurately preserves the ecology of these ancient deep sea communities.


Castle Hill Historic Site

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Castle Hill features the remains of French and English fortifications from the 17th and 18th centuries. Visitors can learn about the everyday life of the French fishermen and soldiers at Placentia, Newfoundland. The site also features a magnificent view of the town of Placentia and the surrounding harbour.

Branch, NL

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St. Brides is typical of the fishing villiages that have dotted our shores for hundreds of years.

Ship Harbour

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Ship Harbour is a pretty community located on the eastern shore of Placentia Bay. Adjacent to Argentia, the waters off Ship Harbour are best known as the site of Atlantic Conference between Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 14, 1941. While the HMS Prince of Wales and the USS Augusta were secretly anchored in the entrance off Ship Harbour, various dignitaries and the two heads of state discussed the terms of what would become known as the Atlantic Charter. Ship Harbour has a population of about 200 people. It is 140 kilometers west of St. John's and can be reached on the TransCanada Highway and exiting at the Argentia Access Road.