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Rothsay Masonic Temple

48 Queen Street, Bridgetown, Nova Scotia, B0S, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/04/05

Front entrance, Rothsay Masonic Temple, Bridgetown, Nova Scotia, 2006.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2006.
Front entrance, Rothsay Masonic Temple
Front and south elevation, Rothsay Masonic Temple, Bridgetown, Nova Scotia, 2006.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2006.
Front and south elevation, Rothsay Masonic Temple
Front elevation, Rothsay Masonic Temple, Bridgetown, Nova Scotia, 2006.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2006.
Front elevation, Rothsay Masonic Temple

Other Name(s)

n/a

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1871/01/01 to 1871/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/08/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Rothsay Masonic Temple is found on Queen Street in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia. This former Presbyterian church, built in 1871 in red brick, is prominently located adjacent to the main bridge across the Annapolis River. The building and property are included in the provincial designation.

Heritage Value

The Rothsay Masonic Temple is valued for being an excellent example of a late nineteenth-century Gothic Revival style church constructed of brick and because of its prominent position adjacent to the main bridge in the town of Bridgetown, which crosses the Annapolis River.

The Rothsay Masonic Temple was originally a Presbyterian Church which first opened in 1871. In 1921, the Methodists and Presbyterians united to form the Gordon-Province United Church on a separate property. The now empty church property was purchased in 1925 by the Rothsay Lodge of the Masonic Order for $3000 as the Masonic Hall being used at the time was in urgent need of repairs. On acquiring the church, the lodge altered it for Masonic purposes by placing a floor to divide the interior into an upper and lower storey. On the upper floor is the Lodge room, ante-room and preparation room, and below a banquet hall and kitchen.

The building is an excellent example of late nineteenth-century Gothic Revival style architecture with elements such as the steeply pitched gable roof, a large Gothic window in the front, narrow lancet windows in the side elevations and stone-capped brick buttresses. The fact that the building is constructed of brick makes it somewhat more distinctive than many other churches of similar design in Nova Scotia. The brick used in its construction was locally made by Edward Walker in his kiln at nearby Carleton Corner. Until the 1920s, a spire topped the bell tower; however, during that period it was considered unsafe and removed. The present truncated steeple was fitted in its place.

The Rothsay Lodge has occupied the former church building since purchasing it in 1925 and continues to serve the lower Annapolis River area. The Rothsay Masonic Temple is in a prominent position adjacent to the main bridge across the Annapolis River and central to the Town of Bridgetown. The use of the building incorporates the early history of the Presbyterian Church and a continual history of the Masonic brotherhood in the Annapolis area. It is one of a very few remaining buildings that used locally manufactured brick in its construction.

Source: Provincial Heritage Program property files, no. 134, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Rothsay Masonic Temple relating to its Gothic Revival style include:

- two-storey brick construction, using locally manufactured bricks;
- steeply pitched gable roof;
- large Gothic window in the front elevation;
- narrow lancet windows in the side elevations;
- stone-capped brick buttresses;
- prominent location adjacent to the main bridge in the centre of Bridgetown, crossing the Annapolis River.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Province of Nova Scotia

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Provincially Registered Property

Recognition Date

1991/04/05

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1925/01/01 to 1925/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Community
Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

Edward Walker

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Provincial Heritage Program property files, no. 134, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

00PNS0134

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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