Saturday, June 23, 2007

North America's Oldest Church?

From religionand

The oldest church in North America may lie beneath a small town in Newfoundland, Canada, according to information pieced together from the research of a historian who died before publishing her seminal work. The late Alwyn Ruddock claims an Italian friar accompanying explorer John Cabot built the church during his second trip to the continent in 1498, according to Evan Jones, a University of Bristol researcher who investigated and pieced together Ruddock's notes.

"To describe Alwyn Ruddock's claims as revolutionary would not be an exaggeration," Jones said. "If Ruddock is right, it means that the remains of the only medieval church in North America may still lie buried under the modern town of Carbonear," reported June 16 in a story carried Thursday on

Ruddock apparently found evidence that while Cabot sailed south to explore the eastern coast, an Italian friar named Fra Giovanni Antonio Carbonaro, who sailed with Cabot in 1498 with a number of other friars, stayed behind and established a religious colony at present-day Carbonear. "It appears that Ruddock believed the Newfoundland church was named after San Giovanni a Carbonara," which carried over as a place name, Jones writes.

Ruddock, a University of London historian, was one of the world's top experts on Cabot's voyages until her death in late 2005.

1 comment:

Cal Skinner said...

What about the church St. Andrew is supposed to have built in New England?