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Ferryland

Colony of Avalon, 17th Century Kitchen Reproduction

Ferryland is where George Calvert, better known as Lord Baltimore, founded the Colony of Avalon in 1621. Today, you can peer over the shoulders of working archaeologists as they uncover the foundations of houses and a cobblestone street built in the 17th century. And you can view some of the thousands of discovered artifacts at the interpretation centre.

Rich in history, even before Baltimore, the Ferryland area had been used as a summer fishing station by migratory European fishermen. It had also drawn the attention of the Beothuks, the now extinct aboriginal people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Baltimore stayed only a few years before transferring his energies into another colony in Maryland. But Ferryland survived his departure and prospered (despite a raid by the Dutch in the 1670s) until the 1690s when French raids drove the English away. But the Colony of Avalon was close to rich fishing grounds too good to be abandoned, and it was soon reoccupied.

There's a distinct Irish feel here, and with good reason. The Irish came to dominate this shore - first as summer workers for English and Irish fish merchants, then as permanent settlers throughout the 18th century.

Today, this area is known as the Irish heart of Newfoundland and Labrador. Irish traditions, attitudes, and music continue to thrive here. The town regularly hosts summer musical events and dinner theatre productions with a strong local flavour - and no shortage of the famed Irish wit. The annual Shamrock Folk Festival produced by the Southern Shore Folk Arts Council in Ferryland is the ultimate Irish/Newfoundland music festival in the province.

The town's museum is housed in the old courthouse – complete with a couple of holding cells – where you can discover many of the legends and characters of Ferryland history. After a day of traditional dancing and entertainment, you can sit on the front porch of the museum and look toward the sea across a meadow called The Gaze.

At nearby Ferryland Head, accessible by an easy walking and hiking trail across the Downs, is the town's famous lighthouse. Here you can order an incredibly popular and delicious Lighthouse Picnic to eat as you nestle down in lush grass and watch for whales, birds, and icebergs off the breathtaking coastline.

Getting Here:

Ferryland is located on the island of Newfoundland, 74 km or just a 1-hour drive from St. John's along Route 10 - The Irish Loop.

Location data provided by the operator. Please confirm location
before departure.

Directions

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Driving distances and calculations derived using Google Maps. Actual driving times may vary. GPS coordinates have been provided by tourism operators. Please confirm location with operator before departure.

Helpful Links

Official Town of Ferryland Website

Related Offers:
Starting at $124.99 Per Person
An interactive archaeological experience at the Colony of Avalon in Ferryland, Newfoundland, settled in 1621.

In this full-day program, participants work alongside archaeologists and conservators to reveal the lives of Ferryland’s early settlers. The day includes: guided tour of the site, orientation to techniques, hands-on archaeology and conservation activities, lunch and a Colony of Avalon membership.

No experience required. Spaces for this unforgettable experience are limited.

Visit website
Colony of Avalon Archaeological Site

Starting at $96 Per Person
In the morning, explore past lives as an Archaeologist at a working seaside archaeological dig in Ferryland. At the Colony of Avalon, settled in 1621 by Lord Baltimore, you’ll step back in time while getting your hands dirty with our dig crew. Then scrub up and hike to the lighthouse for a leisurely gourmet picnic prepared by Lighthouse Picnics, one of Canada’s Signature Experiences.
Visit website
Colony of Avalon Archaeological Site

Starting at $134 Per Person
In the morning, explore past lives as an Archaeologist at a working seaside archaeological dig in Ferryland. At the Colony of Avalon, settled in 1621 by Lord Baltimore, you’ll step back in time while getting your hands dirty with our dig crew. Continue your land and sea exploration with a two-hour coastal kayaking adventure with Stan Cook Sea Kayak Adventures, one of Canada’s Signature Experiences.
Visit website
Colony of Avalon Archaeological Site

 

* Offers are subject to availability. Taxes are extra. You may have to pre-book and/or mention
the promotion at the time of booking. Please check with the operator for more details.

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