Description of Historic Place
The Kennell Anglican Church is a Municipal Heritage Property located 10 km northeast of the Village of Craven within the Rural Municipality of Lumsden No. 189. Situated in the Qu’Appelle Valley at the base of the south slope, the property features a single-storey, rectangular wood-frame church. A page-wire fence surrounds the church and adjacent graveyard on the north and west sides of the property.
The heritage value of Kennell Anglican Church lies in the property’s use as a place of worship for Anglican parishioners in the Kennell District. Originally named St. Nicholas Anglican Church, it was constructed in 1900 about nine km northeast of its present site. After many of the parishioners moved away, the church was dismantled and reconstructed in 1910-11 at its present location, and has remained in continual, although irregular, use. Since the 1980s, the tradition of providing a place for peaceful reflection has been extended beyond the Anglican community, as various prayer services have been conducted here by Boy Scouts, musical and prayer groups, and others.
Heritage value also lies in the architecture of the property, which reflects Gothic Revival influences. This influence can be seen in the design of the pointed-arched windows, the steeply-pitched gabled roofs, the open-beam roof truss system, and the pointed arches in the chancel rail. The church entry is through a central bell tower, surmounted by a prominent spire – components also often found at prairie churches based on Gothic Revival architecture.
Heritage value also resides in the property’s construction, which is common to the turn of the twentieth century. This is reflected in the wood frame construction and exterior walls finished with wooden shiplap siding; and the use of cedar shingles on the roof. The interior displays an open beam roof truss system over the aisle; a less elaborate system in the apse. Vertical wooden wainscoting, as well as the chancel rail, are common design features found in Anglican churches from this era. Likewise, the interior walls are finished with plaster-lath. Multi-paneled wooden doors, common to that era, provide entry to both the front porch and main church structure.
Heritage value also lies in the property’s position in the Qu’Appelle Valley as a tourist attraction. This is reflected in the fact that it is one of Saskatchewan’s most often photographed historic churches. The church is regularly featured on calendars, in written and film tourism promotions, and in books relating to churches or historic sites in western Canada. It is also a favourite locale for people wishing to be married or as a backdrop for wedding photos.
Rural Municipality of Lumsden No. 189 Bylaw No. 1/83.
The heritage value of Kennell Anglican Church resides in the following character-defining elements:
-those features that reflect the property’s use as a place of worship including, the graveyard with tombstones and the placement of grave in rows;
-those features that reflect the building’s Gothic Revival architectural influences, including the pointed-arch windows, steeply pitched roof, open beam rafter system, and chancel rail, the gable roofs over the main structure and apse, and the use of contrasting exterior colours on the walls, trim and roof;
-those features that reflect the property’s representative construction for early-twentieth century rural churches, such as the wood-frame construction, wood shingles on the roof; wood siding on the exterior walls, and an open central bell tower with its steeply-pitched roof; wainscoting and plaster-lath interior finishing;
-those exterior features that reflect the property’s status as a tourism attraction, such as the maintained church yard, the regularly painted exterior with accented contrasting trim colour, and the vibrant red roof; also the church’s position on the slope of the Qu’Appelle Valley.