Description of Historic Place
St John’s Anglican Church, Moschelle, Nova Scotia, was built c. 1884 in the Gothic Revival style. The building is a one-storey brick construction situated at the south side of the highway that runs east-west through Moschelle, N.S. Both the building and the property are included in the municipal heritage designation.
St. John’s Anglican Church, constructed of locally made brick, a material not commonly used in church construction in Nova Scotia, is a valued example of the Gothic Revival style.
The small lot on which the church stands was donated in 1884 by locals, James and Margaret Rice. The brick used in the church’s construction was made in John Buckler’s kiln and hauled to the location with an oxcart by John Woodland, a twelve-year-old boy. The church was built thanks to the sheer determination of the parishioners and their tithe contributions to the church, although between 1885 and 1904 there was an absence of clergy at the annual church meetings.
Of note is the church’s more recent role as St. John’s Columbarium. On March 11, 2007, the church was set apart and adapted to house a series of niches for the internment of cremated remains of the congregation’s family members. The Parish still holds an annual service in the Columbarium on September 14, Holy Cross Day.
In keeping with the balance and symmetry that are hallmarks of the Gothic Revival style, St. John’s Anglican Church is characterized by its traditional rectangular building form. The end-gable roof and symmetrical door and window placements are also in keeping with the Gothic Revival style. The structure has a one-storey central entry porch with corner pilasters and a spindlework balustrade at the roofline. The church sits on a granite field-stone foundation.
The impressive architectural details include a rosette window above the front entrance, the detailed brickwork of the window surrounds and the decorative tracery side windows. The wide frieze boards and the ornate stained glass window in the narthex are distinctive characteristics of St. John’s Anglican Church. The later bell tower addition with its shiplap siding, flared hip roof and cruciform are examples of sympathetic construction that integrates new with old.
The building is a valued testament to the integrity of the builders’ craftsmanship. The church’s religious heritage is a monument to the pioneer spirit that established this community and to the continuum of involvement by present-day community members in its preservation.
Source: Heritage Property File no. OIBNS2439, Municipality of the County of Annapolis, 752 St. George Street, Annapolis Royal, N. S., B0S 1A0
Character-defining elements of St. John’s Anglican Church that are associated with its Gothic Revival style include:
-one-storey brick construction;
-steep-pitched end-gable roof;
-symmetrical door and window placements;
-one-storey central entry porch with corner pilasters and a spindlework balustrade at the roofline;
-a granite fieldstone foundation;
-a rosette window above the front entrance;
-detailed brick work at the window surrounds, decorative tracery side windows;
-ornate stain glass window in the narthex;
-bell tower addition with shiplap siding, flared hip roof and cruciform.