Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
St. George’s Anglican Church was constructed circa 1889 and is located beside Highway 329 in East River, Nova Scotia. The Municipal Heritage Designation applies to the church and surrounding property.
St. George’s Anglican Church is valued for its age, historical associations with the community of East River and architecture. Built in circa 1889 by Allan Strum, with the assistance of men belonging to the parish, the construction of the church was a community effort. This community effort is indicated in the church records which show the hand hewn beams used to construct the church’s frame were cut and shaped by Michael Fleet as his donation to the construction of the church.
When the church was completed, its tall bell tower, topped by an octagonal ‘witch’s cap’ style roof featuring a large cross finial, made the church an excellent landmark both from the road and the ocean. Although the church is still used as a landmark by land, the trees between the church and the ocean have obscured the church’s visibility from the ocean.
St. George’s Anglican Church has a number of uncommon architectural elements inspired by the Greek Revival and Gothic Revival architecture styles. The placement of the bell tower recessed into the gable end facing the highway is often associated with the temple-style layout of churches influenced by the Greek Revival style; however, the church does not feature the return eaves that are typically used to create a pedimented front façade.
The main entrance for the church is located on the front of the bell tower and is topped by a four paned window formed in the shape of a triangle that gives the doorway a pedimented look more common to Greek Revival styled architecture; however, this may be a more simple way of representing the Gothic Revival arch, suggesting a blending of the two styles. This blending of the pediment form to create a simple arch is also found on all of the windows of the church.
The large window located over the entrance consists of a large central rectangular pane flanked by smaller rectangular panes in the lower and upper sash, with the centre of the upper sash featuring a small triangular pane. A window of the same form is located on the rear elevation of the church where the chancel is located. In contrast, the other windows on the bell tower that make the three bay façades located on the side elevations are all designed with a triangular pane placed over a rectangular pane in the upper and lower sashes. All of the windows feature ornate triangular windows at their peak that continue as a projecting frame the entire way around the window and feature a unique spade-like design at the top of the sides of the window frame.
Source: Municipality of the District of Chester Heritage Property Files, St. George’s Anglican Church file.
The character-defining elements of St. George’s Anglican Church include:
- placement of bell tower partially recessed in middle of gabled end;
- absence of return eaves giving a pedimented appearance;
- octagonal ‘witch’s cap’ roof featuring a large cross finial on top of bell tower;
- triangular window over main entrance consisting of four panes creating a blended form of a pediment and simple arch;
- large window over entrance consisting of a large central rectangular pane flanked by smaller rectangular panes in lower and upper sash, with centre of the uppers sash featuring a small triangular pane creating a simple Gothic Revival inspired arch;
- large window on the rear (north) elevation consisting of a large central rectangular pane flanked by smaller rectangular panes in lower and upper sash, with centre of uppers sash featuring a small triangular pane creating a simple Gothic Revival inspired arch;
- three bay façade of windows consisting of a triangular pane placed over a rectangular pane in upper and lower sash on west and east elevations;
- all windows and main entrance feature hoods that continue as a raised frame and spade-like designs at top of frame;
- window forms on south and west elevations of bell tower have a triangular pane consistent with other windows, but have vents in place of rectangular sashes;
- window on the east side of bell tower features a window consistent with side façades;
- simple plain corner boards;
- clad in wooden shingles;
- narrow plain frieze boards under eaves;
- location near and facing ocean.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Heritage Conservation District
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Municipal Heritage Property Files, Municipality of the District of Chester, 151 King St, Chester, NS, B0J 1J0.
Cross-Reference to Collection