The Town Of Carbonear, seated like a jewel in a peaceful valley, is one of the oldest towns in Canada. It was first mentioned by Fishing Admirals in 1550 and was first settled by Nicholas Guy in 1630. The town's rich cultural history includes pirates, battles. the legendary Irish Princess, Sheila Na Gerira, and a prosperous fishery.
As you enter the town, you can see Carbonear Island, the site of a number of battles, located at the mouth of the harbour. In 1812 Mr. H.C. Watts requested three guns to protect the town from American privateers. Two of the guns can be seen today on Harbour Rock Hill. Heritage Structures, Museums, and monuments add to the historic feel of the town.
As one of the largest towns on the Baccalieu Trail, Carbonear has many Baccalieu Trail regional services including the Trinity Conception Square Shopping Centre, the Regional community Centre, the regional hospital, and regional Campuses of the College of the the North Atlantic and Keyin College.
The Rorke Premises, which is a rare existing example of a merchant fishery premises in Newfoundland, have been renovated to include an Interpretation Centre. The Rorke Stores, which were constructed entirely of wood, were build in the 1870s and remained in use until the 1970s. they form an integral part of the mercantile history of the community, as well as the fishing heritage of the fishing heritage of the region.
Across the street from the Rorke merchant store houses stands Rorke's Stone Jug, the oldest existing building on Water Street in Carbonear and the only building of its kind in the community, as it is of stone construction. Members of the family say the present structure was built in 1863 and that the slabs of the of stone were cut at Kelly's Island. There were living quarters above the ground floor.
The Conception Bay Regional Community Centre house the 384 seat Princess Sheila Na Geira theatre which features concerts and theatricals many weekends. The theatre is the official home of the annual Kiwanis Music Festival. The Community Centre also houses the council offices and the public library.