Description of Historic Place
The Anglican Rectory in Blandford, Nova Scotia was built circa 1867 by the parishioners of St. Barnabas Anglican Church. The former rectory is located beside Highway 329 only metres from the shore line and at the foot of the large hill where St. Barnabas Anglican Church stands. The Municipal Heritage Designation applies the building and surrounding property.
The Anglican Rectory is valued for its age, historical associations and architecture. The rectory was built circa 1867 for the first resident clergyman in the area, Rev. Richard Payne, who oversaw the construction of St. Barnabas Church, located beside the rectory. The former rectory is located beside Highway 329, which replaced an old foot trail that traced the edge of Mahone Bay. Until the road was constructed, the church and rectory were only accessible by the trail or by sea.
Throughout its history the rectory has functioned as both a residence for clergymen and as a location for church social events, such as weddings, until 1926 when it was sold to Warren Publicover. The home's association with the Publicovers, a well-known local family, ended in 1988 when it was sold after two generations of the family had lived there.
The Cape Cod style architecture of the home is still evident today, although significant renovations have taken place. The original gabled portion of the home sits with its ridgeline facing the highway located near the water’s edge. The orientation of the ridgeline towards the road is a common trait of Cape Cod homes; however, the original “road” would have been a route across the water.
Other characteristics of the home’s Cape Cod style include a symmetrical three-bay façade on the front elevation with a central door and flanking six-over-six windows. The windows have storm shutters common to the early Cape Cod style; however, the decorative window hoods are more common to the later Cape Cod style. This later style includes more architectural embellishments such as the home’s plain wide frieze running under the eaves topped with a simple cornice. In addition, the home features styled corner boards and a stained glass transom and sidelights surrounding the main entrance that are also typical of later examples of the Cape Cod style.
The symmetry of the front elevation is not maintained on the gabled ends of the original portion of the home. The southern elevation has two six-over-six windows at the first storey; each with a decorative window hood and storm shutters. In addition, two six-over-six windows are located next to each other in the peak of the gable. Although the northern elevation has windows in the peak of the gable arranged identically to the southern side elevation, it does not feature any windows at the first storey.
Perhaps the most interesting change to the home has been the addition of a large ell on the rear elevation, which features a Gothic Revival inspired steep cross-gable. Uncharacteristically the doorway on that elevation is not centred under the cross-gable. The ell addition features a wide frieze running under the eaves similar to the gabled portion of the home. The styled rake bargeboard and decorative eave returns on the ell addition are also similar to those present on the original portion of the home.
Three of the five windows located on the ridgeline sides of the ell feature shutters and window hoods modeled after those on the original part of the home. The gabled end of the ell features an unsymmetrical four bay façade at the first storey composed of three narrow windows flanked by a rear entrance on the northern corner. At the second storey a single narrow window is located in the peak of the gable.
The varying styles of architecture that have influenced the home’s construction make it an interesting example of a home with a vernacular style, that still possess strong associations with its original Cape Cod style architecture.
Source: Municipality of the District of Chester Heritage Property Files.
Character-defining elements of the Anglican Rectory that relate to its Cape Cod style architecture include:
- ridgeline of original portion oriented toward the water;
- three-bay façade on the front elevation featuring a central door flanked by single six-over-six windows with decorative window hoods and storm shutters;
- two-bay façade of six-over-six windows with decorative window hoods and storm shutters at first storey of southern side elevation;
- two-bay façade of six-over-six windows with decorative window hoods in the peak of gable at second storey of southern side elevation and northern side elevation;
- frieze running under eaves topped by a simple cornice;
- styled rake bargeboards, which form face of closed cornices;
- corner boards featuring raised border moldings with a recessed rounded centre.
Character-defining elements of the Anglican Rectory that relate to its Gothic Revival architecture include:
- steep cross-gable located on ell addition on southern side elevation;
- steeply pitched roof;
- window located in peak of cross-gable.
Other character-defining elements of the Anglican Rectory that relate to its architecture include:
- eave returns on original portion and gabled end of ell addition;
- ornate design of stained glass transom and sidelight windows surrounding main entrance on the ridgeline of original portion of home;
- asymmetrical design of southern side elevation of ell addition;
- location of southern side elevation entrance off to side of steep cross-gable;
- presence of decorative window hoods similar to those on original portion of house on the southern and northern ridgeline sides of ell addition;
- asymmetrical design of rear elevation of ell addition featuring a four-bay façade at first storey with a cluster of three narrow windows by southern corner and a rear entrance by northern corner;
- narrow window located in peak of rear elevation of ell addition.