Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Tryon United Church National Historic Site of Canada is a wooden church in the High Victorian Gothic Revival style, located in the small rural community of Tryon, on the banks of the Tryon River, along Prince Edward Island’s south western shore. A church hall was added to the side of the church in recent times. The formal recognition consists of the building on its legal property at the time of designation.
Tryon United Church was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1990 because:
- it is an exceptional example of the Gothic Revival style in Canadian architecture.
Built in 1881 for a Methodist congregation, Tryon United Church was designed by William Critchlow Harris, one of Prince Edward Island’s most distinguished architects. Its simple, bold form, picturesque tower, and limited Gothic detailing are typical of the interpretation of the High Victorian Gothic Revival style for small parish churches in Canada. This eclectic style gave designers greater freedom than the more historically correct ecclesiological Gothic Revival phase that had preceded it.
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, February, 1990.
Key elements which relate to the heritage value of Tryon United Church include:
- its simple, bold form and composition, including its steep roof over a rectangular volume, its low buttressed walls, its prominent, almost freestanding tower, and its massive, uninterrupted horizontal surfaces;
- its interpretation of Gothic forms and detailing in wood, as seen in its steep gable roof set on low walls, its pointed openings, its faux-buttresses, its tripled Gothic arch stained glass windows encased in rectangular openings, its quatrefoil banding below the cornice of the tower, and the dormers of the tower;
- its picturesque composition, as seen in the lively silhouette created by the end gable and nearly detached tower, the use of red granite for the foundation with wood above, and its steeply pitched roof;
- the surviving original elements of the interior plan, finishes and materials as related to the Gothic Revival style;
- its wood construction;
- its picturesque setting on the river bank;
- the views to and from the river and the church.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Architect / Designer
William Critchlow Harris
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Québec
Cross-Reference to Collection