RR #2 Vernon, Orwell, Prince Edward Island, C0A, Canada
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
St. Andrew's United Church
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Orwell Church was the former St. Andrew's United Church. It is a white shingle clad building located in the Orwell Corner Historic Village. Constructed in 1861 with Gothic Revival architectural influences, the church was decommissioned in 1978 and leased to the Province of Prince Edward Island as part of the historic village. The designation includes the footprint of the building, it does not include the building's interior.
The Orwell Church (former St. Andrew's United Church) is valued as a well preserved example of a Gothic Revival style early Scottish Presbyterian house of worship in Prince Edward Island. It was constructed in 1861 for a growing congregation and was then affiliated with the nearby Belfast Presbyterian Church and shared a Minister with them. The builder was Martin Martin of Grandview and the church was designed initially to be 40 feet long and 26 feet wide with a plaster wall interior. All of the building materials and labour were donated. Even the land was donated by Peter Nicholson.
The Gothic Revival style was common in church architecture of the 19th Century. It was characterized by a strong vertical emphasis which translated into pointed arches used above windows and even doorways.
The church was expanded in 1891 with the addition of a 20 by 40 foot transept across the back of the original structure to allow for the inclusion of a pump organ and choir platform. Prior to this change, there was no music during services other than the singing of Psalms. The Scottish heritage of the congregation was strong and even into the early 20th Century, it was common for services to be conducted in Gaelic as well as English.
The adjacent cemetery, dating from 1884, is still used by the community. The Orwell congregation became affiliated with the United Church of Canada in 1925. It was amalgamated in the late 1960s with eight other smaller churches and a new St. Andrew's United Church was established at Vernon Bridge.
Source: PEI Heritage Advisory Committee Files
The heritage value of the St. Andrew's United Church at Orwell is shown in the following Gothic Revival influenced character-defining elements:
- the overall massing of the building
- the gabled roofs and eave returns
- the wooden shingled cladding
- the style and placement of the Gothic arched lancet windows with decorative tracery and simple trim details
- the style and placement of the doorways with their transom pointed arch windows and tracery
- the central tower with its spiked spire
Other character-defining elements include:
- the location of the church as part of the Orwell Corner Historic Village
Prince Edward Island
Province of Prince Edward Island
Heritage Places Protection Act
Designated Historic Place
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
Function - Category and Type
- Historic or Interpretive Site
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Located in the Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4320-20/O2
Cross-Reference to Collection