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St. John's Parish Hall

65 Cumberland Street, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, B0J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/10/26

St. John's Parish Hall, Old Town Lunenburg, north façade, 2004; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004
North façade
St. John's Parish Hall, Old Town Lunenburg, north façade detail, 2004; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004
North façade
St. John's Parish Hall, Old Town Lunenburg, south façade, 2004; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004
South façade

Other Name(s)

Old Courthouse
St. John's Parish Hall

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1775/01/01 to 1775/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/12/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

St. John’s Parish Hall is located on the corner of Cornwallis and Townsend Streets in Old Town Lunenburg, a Heritage Conservation District in Lunenburg, NS. St. John's Anglican Parish Hall, built in 1775, is a one-and-a-half storey wooden building with symmetrically placed lancet windows on all sides, and a low-pitched, hipped roof. It is located beside the St. John's Rectory and across Cornwallis Street from St. John's Anglican Church itself. The designation includes the building and its surrounding property.

Heritage Value

The St. John's Parish Hall is valued for its long association with St. John's Anglican Church, its original use as Lunenburg's courthouse, its ties to the community and history of Lunenburg, and architecture.

Located in the central area of Old Town Lunenburg originally set aside for institutional use, this building was originally the courthouse for Lunenburg Township. It was in use as a courthouse for more than 100 years after its construction, but it fell into gradual disrepair, and a new courthouse was constructed. The building was bought in the 1890s by St. John's Parish and renovated for use as a parish hall. It has been in regular use by the congregation since that time.

The place is also valued for its features that relate to both its use as a court house, and a church hall. The hall retains its original clapboard siding, hooded lancet windows, and some interior vestiges of its use as a courthouse. Additional southern and western ells, dating from its use as a church hall, added in 1906 and 1964 respectively, are complementary to the original building.

Source: Heritage Designation File 66400-40-10, Town of Lunenburg.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of St. John’s Parish Hall include all original features related to its original use as a courthouse and later conversion to a church hall and consist of:

- proximity to St. John's Anglican Church and Rectory, and continued use in relation to the Parish of Lunenburg;
- original wooden clapboard siding, with wooden fluted cornerboards;
- hooded lancet windows;
- interior features, including a mural of the Royal Coat of Arms, dating to the building's use as a courthouse;
- form and massing of the building;
- wide entrance doors, with centre-pointed transom windows;
- location at the streetline with an entrance immediately on the street.



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
Governing Canada
Security and Law

Function - Category and Type


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship


Courthouse and/or Registry Office

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Lunenburg, 119 Cumberland Street, P.O. Box 129, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, B0J 2C0, FILE 66400-40-10

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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