Greenock Church National Historic Site of Canada
Links and documents
1821/01/01 to 1824/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Greenock Church National Historic Site of Canada is a handsome, wooden Palladian-style church, distinguished by a classically inspired entry porch and staged spire. Its double height interior with its high pulpit, box pews and galleries, shows the influence of earlier meeting houses. The church is set in the heart of a historic townsite, recognized as the St. Andrews Historic District National Historic Site of Canada. Official recognition refers to the church on its legal property.
Greenock Church was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1994 because:
- it is noteworthy for its role in the spread of Presbyterianism and the development of the Church of Scotland in New Brunswick;
- the Church is both an excellent example of the Palladian style in Canadian church architecture and a well-preserved example representative of the final stage of the evolution of the meeting house form towards a traditional church plan.
This elegant church marks the growth of both Presbyterianism and the Kirk of Scotland in New Brunswick. Constructed in 1821-1824 by local builder Donald D. Morrison, the structure successfully combines the American meeting house form with the British Palladian style. The building's fine proportions and classical details complement its simple, symmetrical plan. The original box pews and two-tiered pulpit, birdseye maple columns and decorative mouldings create a rich interior. The carved green oak on the steeple symbolizes Greenock, the Scottish home of the church's benefactor, Christopher Scott.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1994, June 1997.
Aspects of this site which contribute to its heritage values include:
- its central location and relationship to the St. Andrews Historic District National Historic Site of Canada;
- those features which speak to the Palladian style as it was applied to church architecture, namely the symmetrical elevation and plan, rectangular volume, evenly spaced openings, and classical features such as the Palladian window, staged spire mounted over the entry, pediment, and classical mouldings, both inside and out;
- those features which speak to the evolving nature of the building from meetinghouse to church, namely the timber-frame construction and wood cladding, the rectangular massing under a pitched roof with the main entrance orientated on the short end, and marked by a tower with a polygonal spire that rises above the entry, and the double rows of evenly spaced rectangular sash windows on each side elevation;
- the open interior volume with a finely carved elevated pulpit opposite the entrance, the box pews facing the pulpit, a three-sided gallery supported by Ionic pillars, the simple, white-painted plaster wall finish, and the interior simplicity of decoration, demonstrating its architectural qualities through the subtle use of classical mouldings, excellent craftsmanship and fine materials, including birdseye maple and mahogany for interior fittings.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Architect / Designer
Donald D. Morrison
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection