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1 Ratchford Street

1 Ratchford Street, Amherst, Nova Scotia, B4H, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/11/18

Front elevation, 1 Ratchford St. Amherst, NS, 2007.; Heritage Division, NS Dept of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2007
Northwest Elevation
Rear elevation, 1 Ratchford Street, Amherst, NS, 2007.; Heritage Division, NS Dept of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2007
South Elevation
Front elevation, 1 Ratchford Street, Amherst, NS, 2007.; Heritage Division, NS Dept of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2007
North Elevation

Other Name(s)

1 Ratchford Street
Trinity St. Stephen's United Church

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1906/01/01 to 1906/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/11/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

1 Ratchford Street, also known as Trinity St. Stephen’s United Church, is a two-and-a-half storey, asymmetrical, Gothic Revival style church that was built in 1906. It stands on the corner of Ratchford and Havelock Streets near the commercial district of Amherst, Nova Scotia. Because there are no other buildings near the church, its striking red sandstone façade and three-storey bell tower are all the more apparent. The building and property are included in the municipal designation.

Heritage Value

1 Ratchford Street is valued as a good example of the Gothic Revival style that was popular for churches and public buildings at the turn of the twentieth century. The building is also valued for its association with local industry.

Architectural Value: The church’s rough-cut stone walls accentuate its large-scale massing. Its steeply pitched roofs contrast sharply beside the high, square, castellated turret that is the church’s bell tower. This three-storey bell tower, with its bands and lancet windows, is easily seen regardless from which side you approach the church. All the doorways and the main windows are distinctly Gothic Revival with their slightly pointed, arched crowns. The north-facing stained glass window is the largest in the church. Placed in the façade beneath this window is a band of small white stones that is in sharp contrast with the red sandstone walls. White stones also decorate the apex of the gable ends of the north and west facing walls. The castellated turret, its fortification-like openings, the contrasting stonework, and the rough-cut stone contribute to the overall fortified and monumental character of the church.

Historical Value: The church is made of brick and of red sandstone from the Amherst Red Stone Quarry, that operated in Amherst between 1889 and 1914. Stone from this quarry was used for buildings through out the Maritimes and Ontario because of its rich red colour and because it was easily carved. The church was built in 1906 to accommodate the growing population of Amherst in this period of industrial, economic, and commercial expansion. It was designed by C. B. Chappell and built by James Reid, both of Sydney, Cape Breton. Both men were involved with erecting other buildings in turn-of-the-century Amherst.

Source: “Heritage Properties Amherst, 1 Ratchford” File, Cumberland County Museum

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of 1 Ratchford Street include:

- construction of local red sandstone;
- original form and massing;
- contrasting stonework.

Character-defining Gothic Revival elements of 1 Ratchford include:

- pointed, arch-crowned windows and doorways;
- lancet windows;
- castellated turret and parapet;
- stained glass windows with black tracery;
- buttresses.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Philosophy and Spirituality
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer

C. B. Chappell


James Reid

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

"Heritage Properties Amherst" File, Cumberland County Museum and Archives, 150 Church St, Amherst, NS B4H 3C4

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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