Conception Bay South was formed in 1973 through the amalgamation of nine communities (Topsail, Chamberlains, Manuels, Long Pond, Foxtrap, Kelligrews, Upper Gullies, Lawrence Pond and Seal Cove), all of which follow the coastline of Conception Bay.
The early residents, mainly English but some Irish, were attracted by good growing land, abundant supplies of firewood and the more temperate climate as compared to other parts of the Avalon Peninsula. Good communication with St. John’s was established by road in the 1830s and strengthened in the 1880s with the arrival of the railway. Residents of Conception Bay South grew crops and raised cattle for the St. John’s market and St. John’s residents established summer homes in Conception Bay South.
Learn more about Conception Bay South’s heritage by scrolling this web page.
This self-guided tour is a 1.3 km stroll through a quiet country neighbourhood in one of the oldest parts of Conception Bay South. The quaint area was home to many of the region’s first settlers and today boasts historic homes well over a century old. Please note, the homes and gardens on this tour are all privately owned and are not open to the general public. This walk begins on Church Terrace, located off Spruce Hill Road.
How to use the Virtual Topsail Heritage Homes and Gardens Walk:
Please note: each stop contains the wayfinding signage for both the previous and next stops on the tour. You can use these to travel along the tour, or you can use the Table of Contents on the right hand side to skip to a specific stop.
Thomas Ricketts, V.C. was an ordinary person thrust into extraordinary circumstances. As the youngest army soldier ever awarded the Victoria Cross, his enlistment in The Royal Newfoundland Regiment on September 2, 1916 at age 15 and his decision to fight overseas was life changing.
Following a path taken by hundreds of others, Ricketts’ own journey took an notable turn in October 1918 when he participated in a battle near the Belgian village of Drie-Masten, during the advance from Ledgehem. It was for his actions during this battle that he was recognized with the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty.
The memorial park is located at 925 Conception Bay Highway.
*Provincially designated Heritage Structure.
View these heritage locations on our CBS Interactive Map.
Municipally Designated Heritage Person or Group
Municipally Designated Heritage Event
The Town of Conception Bay South has a 4-part heritage book series.
Book 1 – The Kelligrews Soiree: There are a number of theories about the origins of the Kelligrews place name. The most romantic theory holds that Kelligrews was named for either a pirate, Capt. Alphonsus Kelly, or a fisherman named Kelly, who had settled on Kelly’s Island.
Book 2 – The Battle of Foxtrap: This was a battle about Newfoundland – about its future, about its economy and its way of life. It was prior to confederation, when Newfoundland was still a colony of Britain. The colony was divided on whether to allow Canadian railway surveyors come and build a railway across the island.
Book 3 – A Price Too Dear: In 1914, the S.S. Southern Cross was lost with all 174 men on board. The exact location of the sinking, off the Southeast tip of the island, has never been determined. During the same storm that claimed the S.S. Southern Cross, 132 men and youths from the S.S. Newfoundland became stranded on the ice for two nights and 77 of them perished from exposure.