Description of Historic Place
St. Paul's Anlican Church is located in the community of French Village in Lower Tantallon, Nova Scotia, 32 kilometres outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Situated on a hilltop property with an historic graveyard in its front yard, the church is surrounded by rugged rock outcroppings and wildflowers. The church and graveyard overlook St. Margaret’s Bay and the low-lying hills bordering the sea. The designation extends to the building and the land it occupies, including the cemetery.
St. Paul’s Anglican Church is valued for its association with the early Anglican Church in the region of St. Margaret’s Bay and for its architectural features.
St. Paul’s was the first Anglican church built in St. Margaret’s Bay, and served as the central hub of the Anglican community in this area. The original church was built in 1824, and was eventually consecrated in 1832. Before the building was ready, services took place in a nearby barn. Reverend John Stannage was the first resident minister from 1834 to 1857. He made a significant contribution to the welfare of the church, establishing an endowment fund that supported not only this church but also the neighbouring parish of Indian Harbour.
To accommodate its growing congregation, the original church was replaced by the present building in 1863 with Rev. John Ambrose providing the leadership under which it was constructed. He travelled widely soliciting materials for the project and designed the plans himself. The new church is in the same location as the original building and was consecrated in November 1863 by the Bishop of Nova Scotia, retired Reverend Hibbert Binney.
Though the graveyard was not consecrated as a burial ground until 1889, the oldest grave stone dates to 1849. Today the Parish of French Village includes St. Paul’s (the parish church), St. James at Boutilier’s Point, St. Margaret’s at Tantallon and St. George’s at the head of St. Margaret’s Bay.
Architecturally, the church’s exterior elements show Gothic-Revival style, including pointed arched windows with hood mouldings and a one storey front entry with a pointed arched doorway. Unlike most Anglican churches, St. Paul’s lacks a steeple and is not painted white but a unique salmon-pink colour with dark brown trim. Situated on an incline just down from the church, the cemetery grounds consist of a mix of early and contemporary gravestones, as well as several individually defined family burial plots with low stone edging. The perimeter of the cemetery is lined with mature trees.
- HRM Planning and Development Services, St. Paul’s Anglican Church file.
Character-defining elements of St. Paul’s Anglican Church include:
- steeply-pitched gable roof;
- board-and-batten cladding with chamfered battens;
- salmon-pink colour with dark brown trim;
- peaked Gothic-Revival windows with hood mouldings;
- diamond-patterned stained glass windows;
- one storey front entry with pointed arched doorway;
- stone foundation.
Character-defining elements of the graveyard include:
- situated on an incline;
- mix of early and contemporary gravestones;
- family plots with low stone perimeter walls.