Old Kirk Burying Ground
Trinity United Church
St. John's Kirk
Links and documents
1891/01/01 to 1891/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Trinity United Church is located on the corner of John and Hammond Streets in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. This one-and-a-half storey wooden church was built in 1891. A large cemetery is also located on the upper slope of the property. The building, cemetery and property are included in the municipal designation.
Trinity United Church is valued for its architecture and for its association with the development of the Presbyterian Church in Shelburne.
Among the Shelburne Loyalists who settled the town of Shelburne there were numerous Presbyterians belonging to the Kirk Church of Scotland. The burying ground located at the present Trinity United Church dates back to the construction of the first, though temporary, Presbyterian Church in 1784. Most of the early Kirk Church of Scotland settlers, such as George Gracie, Matthew Dripps and Alex Leyburn are buried in it.
In 1803-1804, St. John's Kirk was built adjoining the burying ground. It was used until it was sold and moved to make way for the new Trinity United Presbyterian Church. The church that stands today was opened in 1891. At the 1925 union to form the United Church of Canada, the church became Trinity United Church.
This one-and-a-half storey wooden building is set on a granite block foundation. The main body of the church and the attached vestry have steeply pitched gable roofs and wood shingle cladding, some of which is fish scale pattern. The Gothic Revival-style stained glass windows have pointed labels and plain lug sills. The pointed steeple is set on a rectangular three-storey base with buttressed corners and a string course mid-way up the base. There is decorative moulding marking the string course. The steeple is mounted above a moulded cornice with decorative cut-work at the base. The base of the steeple has four gable-hooded pointed openings with each opening flanked by flared brackets.
The Trinity United Church and Burying Ground are a standing visual record of the development of the Presbyterian Church and the perpetuation of a way of worship brought to Shelburne in the late eighteenth century.
Source: Town of Shelburne, Heritage File no. 19, Shelburne, Nova Scotia.
Character-defining elements of the Trinity United Church include:
- one-and-a-half storey wood structure;
- granite block foundation;
- steeply pitched gable roof;
- wood shingle cladding;
- Gothic Revival-style stained glass windows with pointed labels and plain lug sills;
- pointed steeple set on a rectangular three-storey base with buttressed corners and a string course;
- Palladian window in the west;
- Rose window over the entry;
- location on a prominent lot in the centre of Shelburne.
Character-defining elements of the Old Kirk Burying Ground include:
- location on a prominent lot in the centre of Shelburne;
- historic headstones carved by local masons;
- absence of roads or automobile thoroughfare;
- historic fences surrounding some plots;
- granite slabs supporting part of the knoll.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Philosophy and Spirituality
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Town of Shelburne Office, Water Street, P.O. Box 670, Shelburne, NS, B0T 1W0.
Cross-Reference to Collection