17 Kings-Edgehill Lane, Windsor, Nova Scotia, B0N, Canada
Links and documents
1861/01/01 to 1867/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Convocation Hall is a large sandstone building located on the campus of King’s Edgehill School, Windsor, Nova Scotia. It was originally constructed as a library and assembly/convocation hall between 1861 and 1867, on the original campus of King’s College School. Convocation Hall sits on the forward slope of the hill where the college is located, overlooking the expanse of country across the Avon River. It is the first and most striking building as one turns in the gate for the drive up to the college proper. Both the building and all land for a distance of ten (10) feet surrounding it are included in the provincial designation.
Convocation Hall is valued for its association, since its erection in 1867, with the life of King’s College, King’s College School and King’s-Edgehill School; for the quality of its Gothic Revival style; for its association with well known architect David Stirling and stonemason George Lang; and as an important of architectural landmark in Nova Scotia. Convocation Hall continues to be used in its traditional role as a library and is the oldest extant purpose built library in Nova Scotia.
King’s College School was founded in 1788. Largely through bequests and gifts the college came into possession of a library of eighteenth century books, and one of the most important collections of incunabula (books published before 1501) on the North American continent in the nineteenth century. In 1858 the Alumni Association of King’s College proposed the construction of a convocation hall and library. With the backing of Sir William Fenwick Williams, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia its construction began in 1861.
Well known architect David Stirling and his business partner and stonemason George Lang were hired for the project. Although the building officially opened two years after construction began, the building was not completed until 1867. The first floor served as a convocation and assembly hall, while a mezzanine or gallery on the second level housed the library and museum. Convocation Hall was one of the earliest purpose built library buildings in Canada. Stirling also designed the Hensley Memorial Chapel on the school campus in 1877. Convocation Hall continued to serve as a library until 1923 when Kings College moved to Halifax.
Convocation Hall is valued as a rare example of nineteenth century Gothic Revival stone architecture and one of the few built in small town Nova Scotia.
Source: Provincial Heritage Property Program file no. 160
Character defining elements of Convocation Hall relate to its Gothic Revival stone architecture and include:
- sandstone cladding;
- stone building materials;
- wall buttresses;
- large windows dominating the elevation;
- parapet wall;
- carved corbels graced by the heads of Greek philosophers;
- round headed design of windows, set within slightly pointed architraves;
- location on forward slope of hill overlooking expanse of country across Avon River.
- historic interior features including: arched Gothic oak ceiling, original decorative stencilled flower patterns and original crest of King’s College in the rear ground floor apse.
Province of Nova Scotia
Heritage Property Act
Provincially Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Composite School
- Post-Secondary Institution
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Provincial Registry found at Heritage Property Program, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS B3H 3A6
Cross-Reference to Collection