Home / Accueil

Girvan Bank - Runciman House

478 St. George Street, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, B0S, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/06/17

Front elevation, Girvan Bank-Runciman House, Annapolis Royal, NS, 2005.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2005.
Main Elevation
No Image
No Image

Other Name(s)

Girvan Bank - Runciman House
Runciman House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1817/01/01 to 1817/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/03/15

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Girvan Bank – Runciman House is a one-and-a-half storey wood framed Regency style building located in Annapolis Royal, NS. Built in 1817 the house contains most of its original features. Set back from the road on a well landscaped lot, the entire property is visually pleasing. The provincial designation applies to the house and the property.

Heritage Value

Girvan Bank – Runciman House is valued as an excellent example of Regency style architecture and for its planned rural landscape setting.

Girvan Bank is one of the few early Nova Scotian homes that was specifically designed by a professional, Boston architect Charles Bullfinch. It was built for Reverend John Millidge, rector of St. Luke’s Anglican Church, in 1817. In 1842 merchant George Runciman purchased the house and it remained in the Runciman family until it was deeded to Heritage Canada in 1979. The house was enlarged to its present size by Runciman and the front balcony was added in the 1920s.

The house is an excellent example of the Regency style, which is very rare in Nova Scotia. Elements which exemplify this style include the low pitched hip roof with a slight flare and over hanging eaves and the slowly bowed windows. Context is a major feature of the Regency style; landscape is taken into great consideration during design. Girvan Bank is set back from the street, among mature trees, bushes and gardens.

Girvan Bank has become known as one of the loveliest homes of its era in Nova Scotia. The combination of the elegant design and graceful landscaping adds to its reputation as one of the ‘prettiest houses’ in Nova Scotia.

Source: Provincial Heritage Property Files, no. 139.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of Girvan Bank – Runciman House relate to is Regency style architecture and include:

- square plan;
- hipped roof;
- two massive chimneys;
- central front double door with side lights and transom with mullion;
- one-and-a-half stories;
- yellow clapboard cladding;
- two two-and-a-half storey segmental bays which connect to the roof in a vault each with one large window on the first floor and smaller windows on second storey under eaves;
- wood shingle roof;
- bellcast eaves line flared to the horizontal alignment of roof;
- window opening surrounded by moulded trip with slipsills;
- double-hung six-over-six windows on main floor
- Classically influenced covered porch;
- Gothic window in second storey over main entrance;
- belt course at foundation;
- gable with no overhang in rear;
- all original interior features including fireplaces, doors, trim, and Adams’ mantles;
- location set back from street among mature trees and well landscaped lot;
- path leading from street to front entrance.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Province of Nova Scotia

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Provincially 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
Architecture and Design
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer

Charles Bullfinch



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Property Program files, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS, B3H 3A6

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places



Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places