Victoria United Church
Victoria Wesleyan Methodist Church
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The former Victoria United Church is the oldest surviving church building in the Village of Victoria. The structure is located on a treed lot on Nelson Street. It is well preserved with a central entrance tower and clapboard siding. The registration includes the footprint of the building.
The former Victoria United Church is valued as the oldest ecclesiastical building in the Village of Victoria and for its well preserved Gothic Revival architectural details. The church was completed in 1877, when the octagonal steeple was lowered into place by a system of horses and pulleys. Less than one year before, local carpenter, Lloyd French, had been hired to begin the work. The lot, lying just north of the village, had been secured from Adam Rogerson.
The original congregation was Wesleyan Methodist. The new church allowed Victoria to become part of the Tryon/Bedeque Methodist circuit. Methodism had first come to PEI in 1775 when Benjamin Chappell came from London, England. He was a personal friend of the founder, Rev. John Wesley. In 1884, various branches of the Methodist faith merged to form the Methodist Church in Canada. In 1925, this group merged with the Congregational Church and two thirds of the Presbyterian Church to form the United Church of Canada.
The Gothic Revival style of the building is well maintained. The tall round arch windows of the tower and side elevations have elegant tracery and are capped by decorative round hood mouldings. The body of the church has a gable roof with eave returns and decorative eave bracketting. The central tower is segmented in three stages and topped by a spiked steeple and weather vane. The cladding is clapboard framed by simple corner boards.
In the 1940s, the tower was struck by lightning, breaking the original nails that had fastened the steeple. These were promptly replaced by copper nails found at the Wright Brothers' General Store. They were left over from Victoria's shipbuilding era.
One of the largest community events in Victoria happened at the Church in July 2002, when people gathered for the funeral of Senator Heath MacQuarrie, a native son of the village.
Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/V8
The following character-defining elements illustrate the Gothic Revival style of the building:
- The overall massing and vertical emphasis of the building
- The gable roof with eave returns, eave brackets, and simple corner boards
- The clapboard exterior cladding
- The original roof boards and beams under the asphalt roofing
- The three stage tower topped by a spiked steeple
- The panelled double entrance door on the south elevation of the tower
- The round arch tracery windows capped by decorative hood mouldings
- The placement of the chimney
Other character-defining elements include:
- The location of the church on Nelson Street just north of the Village of Victoria
Prince Edward Island
Province of Prince Edward Island
Heritage Places Protection Act
Registered Historic Place
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/V8
Cross-Reference to Collection