Description of Historic Place
Trinity Anglican Church is located on a hillside on the corner of Mount and Queen Streets in Digby, Nova Scotia, overlooking the waterfront area of the town. This wooden Gothic Revival style church was built in 1878. The church, church hall, cemetery and property are included in the provincial designation.
Trinity Anglican Church is valued for its association with the Loyalist settlement of Digby County and because it is considered to be a significant example of the Gothic Revival style church designed by Stephen Earle.
Digby was one of the major settlement areas for Loyalists. The parish of Digby was created on Michaelmas Day- September 29, 1785. The first rector was a Connecticut Loyalist, the Reverend Roger Viets. Bishop Charles Inglis laid the cornerstone for the first Trinity on July 30, 1788.
By the early 1870s, the church was becoming too small to meet the needs of a growing parish. During 1877 and 1878, the parish made plans for a new structure. On July 3, 1878, the cornerstone was laid for the second Trinity Church. The architect was Stephen Earle and the builder was M.L. Oliver of Digby. Bishop Hibbert Binney consecrated the new church on October 13, 1880.
Built in the Gothic Revival style, Trinity Church is considered a significant work of Stephen Earle (1839-1913), a notable late nineteenth century American architect. Although much of Earle's work was executed in the Romanesque Revival style, he designed over forty churches, providing ample opportunity to also explore the Gothic Revival style.
In the exterior of the Trinity Church, the basic building parts are clearly expressed, and include the nave, side aisles, narthex, chancel and spire, though this element is atypically located. Gothic building elements included in the Trinity design include pointed arch window openings and clerestory windows in the nave. A Gothic atmosphere is reinforced by the stained glass of the rose window, with the Star of David incorporated into the frame pattern, the work of Alexander Gibbs, a London artist working in Bloomsbury.
The second building on the property, the church hall, was built in 1904. George A. Pratt prepared plans for this structure and the builder was Ralph M. Oliver of Digby.
Trinity Anglican Church holds regular services.
Source: Provincial Heritage Program property files, no. 185, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS.
Character-defining elements of Trinity Anglican Church include:
- wood frame structure;
- board and batten cladding along the base of the exterior;
- horizontal belt courses;
- Stick style detailing on the entrance way;
- nave, side aisles, narthex, chancel and spire, though this element is atypically located;
- pointed arch window openings;
- clerestory windows in the nave;
- stained glass rose window, with the Star of David incorporated into the frame pattern;
- wood frame church hall;
- cemetery surrounding the church, with original grave markers.