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Little Britain United Church

5879 PTH No. 9, St. Andrews, Manitoba, R0C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/02/17

Primary elevations, from the east, of Little Britain United Church, Lockport area, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage & Tourism, 2006
Primary Elevations
Secondary view, from the northwest, of Little Britain United Church, Lockport area, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage & Tourism, 2006
Secondary View
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Other Name(s)

Little Britain United Church
Little Britain Presbyterian Church
The Old Stone Church
Église presbytérienne Little Britain
La vieille église en pierre

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1872/01/01 to 1874/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/02/15

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Little Britain United Church, constructed
in 1872-74, is a robust one-storey vernacular stone structure on sprawling grounds that overlook the
Red River near Lockport and also hold the church's cemetery. The provincial designation applies
to the church, its cemetery and its lot.

Heritage Value

Little Britain United Church is the oldest United church of Presbyterian origin in
the Canadian West and one of only five stone churches remaining in Manitoba from the Red River Settlement
era. The structure's deep pioneer roots are expressed through its vernacular design, based on the
medieval Gothic architectural traditions of English and Scottish parish churches; its excellent stonework
executed by noted masons Duncan McRae and John Clouston; and its unostentatious interior, reflective
of frontier austerity as well as Presbyterian precepts. The well-preserved church recalls the formative
period of institutional Presbyterianism in the West. It occupies land granted to the congregation by
the Hudson's Bay Company and used for worship since the early 1850s when Reverend John Black, the
Red River Settlement's first Presbyterian minister, began organizing local congregations, early
church missions and schools. Still in active use, Little Britain United is one of a number of important
nineteenth-century buildings concentrated at the northern end of the historic Red River corridor.

Manitoba Heritage Council Minutes, October 17, 1987

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Little Britain United Church
site include:
- the church's inclusion in a larger surviving collection of Lockport-area structures
dating from the Red River Settlement, including nearby Lower Fort Garry
- the church's east/west
orientation, facing the Red River, on a well-treed and grassed lot that also holds a cemetery with many
prominent pioneer graves, including that of Duncan McRae, etc.

Key elements that define the church's
vernacular and modest Gothic Revival styling include:
- the basic symmetrical massing composed of the
rectangular expanse of the nave denoted by a steeply pitched gable roof with cedar shingles
- the robust
facades of roughly dressed limestone, hollow and filled with rubble
- the square, World War I memorial
tower (1920) featuring a projecting entrance sheltered by a gable overhang, a bull's eye window,
a wooden belfry with louvred pointed openings on all sides, and a pyramidal roof clad in fish-scale wooden
shingles, all topped by a pinnacle
- the openings, including the pointed arched windows in the nave,
composed of four stained-glass windows in the south elevation and four plain windows in the north, all
with basic wooden tracery and stone voussoirs

Key elements that define the church's straightforward
interior layout, finishes and details include:
- the formal hall plan composed of the nave with a centre
aisle and a raised sanctuary
- the pseudo-gambrel ceiling with dark-stained or dark-painted wood planking
the light-painted plaster walls with dark wainscotting
- the simple hand-crafted wooden pews
- the details,
finishes and intact furnishings, including the moulding, wooden pulpit and altar rail, a chair that belonged
to John Black, the straight edge used by the masons during the church's construction, etc.




Recognition Authority

Province of Manitoba

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Heritage Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


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

Architect / Designer



Duncan McRae

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Main Floor, 213 Notre Dame Avenue Winnipeg MB R3B 1N3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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