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Norwich Gore United Church

813186, Base Line, Township of Norwich, Ontario, N0J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/02/22

Featured is the façade of Norwich Gore United Church.; Martina Braunstein, 2007.
Façade, Norwich Gore United Church, 2007
Of note are the symmetrically placed double lancet windows.; Martina Braunstein, 2007.
Norwich Gore United Church, 2007
Featured is the sign above the front entrance that commemorates the date of construction.; Martina Braunstein, 2007.
Entrance Sign, Norwich Gore United Church, 2007

Other Name(s)

Norwich Gore United Church
813186 Base Line
Episcopal Methodist Church

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/03/20

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Norwich Gore United Church is located at 813186 Base Line, on the west side of Base Line, south of the intersection of Norwich Street and Base Line, in the Township of Norwich. The one-storey timber church was constructed in 1861.

The property was designated, by the Township of Norwich, in 2002, for its historic or architectural value, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 54-2002).

Heritage Value

The Norwich Gore United Church is associated with William Merrill, a local labourer, and the growing Episcopal Methodist Congregation of Norwich Township. The Episcopal Methodists were outgrowing their original place of worship and in 1859, the trustees decided to build a new church.

Three quarters of an acre of land was purchased and William Merrill, a local sawmill operator, donated the lumber and guided the church's construction. Local pioneers helped Merrill complete the frame structure of solid timbers, in 1861. William Merrill went on to build other local churches, including the Norwich Methodist Church, later the Norwich United Church, in 1866.

The Norwich Gore United Church is a rare example of a church designed in the Regency style of architecture, in Oxford County. Characteristic of this style, the church features large gothic styled lancet windows. Lancet windows were traditionally used in cathedrals to allow for light during the pre-electric age. The eight, four foot by twelve foot windows in this relatively small church make the interior open and bright. The double lancet windows of one over eight panes are capped with a ruby-coloured cruciform in a wooden framed mullion. The cruciform is a three-sided petal design, joined by a short neck to a heart shaped bottom. The eight panes are opaque pebbled glass, traditionally used so worshippers would not be tempted to stare out of the window.

Source: Township of Norwich By-law 54-2002.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Norwich Gore United Church include its:
- continued use as a place of worship since 1861
- sign above the entrance which commemorates the date of construction
- rectangular floor-plan
- gable roofline
- white timber frame construction
- symmetrical placement of the eight double lancet windows
- four foot by twelve foot window construction of 1 over 8 opaque pebbled glass, capped with a ruby-coloured cruciform in a wooden-framed mullion
- three-sided petal cruciform design




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

2002/01/01 to 2002/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Philosophy and Spirituality

Function - Category and Type



Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer



William Merrill

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Township of Norwich 210 Main Street East Norwich, Ontario N0J 1P0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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