• About Us

    About Us

While the specific location of Lord Baltimore’s Colony of Avalon was not known, the people of Ferryland were no strangers to the history of the location. Many a local has a story of finding a piece of pottery or glass in their gardens, yet the exact location was a mystery. Local knowledge was the key to unlocking the location of the settlement, with residents and local historians providing essential guidance during early excavations.

The not-for-profit community-based Colony of Avalon Foundation was incorporated in 1994 to turn the accidental unearthing of the area’s history into a mission to investigate, preserve and present the archaeological remains on the site.

Starting as an archaeological dig and investigation, the project quickly grew during the 90s when the cod moratorium saw large numbers of locals involved in fishing out of their usual work. In an effort to keep locals employed and build local tourism, the government stepped up with funding for the dig site. This helped the Colony of Avalon Foundation keep the community that had been instrumental to the discovery involved and optimistic for the future of Ferryland.

The richness and variety of the artifacts uncovered blew away researchers and visitors alike. Completely blowing away the stereotypes on how colonists lived, the dig turned up gold coins, beautiful jewellery, and venetian glass. Visitors still struggle to match the wealth and importance to British politics to the stories they learned in school.

As the dig progressed, so too did the facilities around the site. The Ferryland school became the Visitor Centre allowing the lab and museums to be incorporated into the site, bringing one of the most important features of a visit – going up into the lab and seeing what was discovered yesterday, or a couple of days ago while talking to the people in the lab and looking at stuff up close. Not everything is behind a glass case (although some is!). The addition of the 17th Century kitchen, gift shop and gardens in the 2000’s added depth to the experience and continue to delight visitors.

The Colony of Avalon continues to sustain the community as it did in the 90s, offering employment to Ferryland locals and encouraging visitors to stop on their way around the Southern Shore. Education remains paramount to what they do – teaching comes first, both for visitors and the archaeology students getting on-site experience. Bringing history to life with storytelling and shattering expectations keeps it engaging and makes sure everyone has a great time every visit.

Explore more about the Colony of Avalon

  • We had a wonderful visit!

    We had a wonderful visit! Lulu and Lori were so knowledgeable and kind. The made us feel like family.
  • You aren’t done exploring NL if this isn’t on your list!

    Really knowledgeable + fun tour guides. you aren't done exploring NL, if this isn't on your list. We got a family pass which averaged out to $14 p/p which is amazing value- considering all the knowledge the tour guides would have learnt to present it in a easily digestiable way for tourists, well done!
  • I was fascinated by this history

    The Museum Center is very easy to get to just off the main road. The people are phenomenally polite. The museum admission price is reasonable and the staff has done an amazing job put together the history of the site. The combination of artefacts and document research shows a vibrant community of various faiths living together in a new land. As someone from Maryland I was fascinated by this history and the connection of Maryland to this place. Go - it is worth the time and energy.
  • Very cool active archaeological site

    Very cool active archaeological site with tons of interesting history on the settlement and power struggles of NFLD. Walking through the cobblestone paths was a treat, and the sweeping shorelines and waves are amazing to enjoy. Would recommend a visit for sure when travelling along the Irish loop!
  • One of the best places to visit…

    We completed the Irish Loop and stopped in for a visit to explore the artifacts and items on display. This was one of our best places to visit on the Irish Loop.
  • So fascinating!

    And the walk up to the lighthouse was worth it! The museum there, the ladies were very helpful and shared some very cool stories and full of knowledge! I’m jealous of where they live and their jobs. History is just so fascinating for this tiny little area on the planet, you won’t be let down by coming here just to see it first hand. It’s a small little museum but very interesting!
    Scott H.

Follow Us

Calling all artisans! The Colony of Avalon Gift Shop is now accepting consignment items for sale in our Gift Shop. If you are a returning consigner who has been with us before, please reach out or drop by next week to drop off your stock!
Things have been busy lately as we get our new Gift Shop Manager up to speed, but we are excited and ready to welcome you all back!
A holiday treat for you all!
Are you planning a trip to Newfoundland in 2024? Book your tour today and save! 

After 5 years of keeping our prices the same, we finally need to raise our admission prices to keep up with our costs. As a private non-profit (not run by the government) we rely on admission sales and donations to keep our doors open. In advance of our price increase, we are offering our Guided Tours at 2023 prices until December 26th. What a great gift for someone visiting Newfoundland or even a local who you cannot find a gift for!
Don't worry! Tour times are able to be changed as your date gets closer.

**This promotion does not apply to archaeology programs
The Colony of Avalon Foundation formally invites its members and the public to attend our Annual General Meeting on December 9th, 2:00PM, at the Colony of Avalon Building or via Zoom. Dr. Barry Gaulton will be presenting the Archaeology Report for the 2023 Field Season and Board Chair Michael Harrington will be presenting on the operations of the Colony of Avalon including the Financial Report for the 2022 Fiscal Year. To attend via zoom, please email info@colonyofavalon.ca
Cutest thing in the lab. We have such a great team every year 🥰
Happy Halloween from us here at the colony 🎃 may your hauntings be merry 👻
Spending some time in the collections with the Bellarmine pieces.
Perfect sunny day to see the colony from the east coast trail ☀️🍁
A very quiet kitchen here in the off season.
Last day for most of our team until next year. Saying goodbye to sunny days in the lab (at least for now ☀️).