Description of Historic Place
The Brenton Methodist Church is a Gothic Revival influenced building of wood frame construction built in 1885 and located in the rural village of Brenton, Nova Scotia. Municipal heritage designation applies to the building, its adjacent cemetery and the land on which they are situated.
The Brenton Methodist Church is valued for its history as the only church in the village of Brenton; for its continued use after the many rural United Churches of Canada were closed; and for its Gothic Revival influenced architecture.
Prior to the building of this church in 1885, the residents of the village of Brenton had to travel about six kilometres to the neighbouring village of Lake George to attend a place of worship. In 1885, determined to have their own church, the people in the area acquired this hilltop site, built a church and established themselves as a Methodist congregation. In 1925 with the amalgamation of several Baptist and Methodist denominations, the Brenton Methodist Church became part of the United Church of Canada and was subsequently known as the Brenton United Church.
In the late 1950s the United Church of Canada made the decision to close its' rural churches in Yarmouth County, opting to maintain only one large church in the town of Yarmouth. The members in Brenton, however, felt that the town church was too far away to serve their needs, and assumed the responsibility and the costs of keeping this church open for worship and to provide a Sunday school for the children in the community. In 1982 the members formed a corporate society which they named the Brenton Hilltop Society, and the United Church of Canada deeded the entire property to them. Although the church has stood unused for a number of years, the Brenton Hilltop Society continues to maintain the building as well as the adjacent cemetery, which is still in active use.
The Gothic Revival influenced architecture of the Brenton Methodist Church is exemplified by its wood frame construction, its pointed arch windows and its medium pitched gable roof.
Source: Registered Heritage Property files: Brenton Methodist Church; located at 400 Main Street, Yarmouth, NS, B5A 1G2
The character-defining elements of the Brenton Methodist Church include:
- location on top of a hill on a dirt road;
- cemetery set off by a page-wire fence behind church building;
- evergreen trees on north side of lot;
- grassy lot surrounding building.
The character-defining elements of the Gothic Revival influenced architecture of the Brenton Methodist Church include:
- rubble-stone foundation;
- wood frame construction;
- corner tower with octagonal steeple;
- pointed arch windows with stained glass in peaks and gabled crowns;
- west-facing entrance in tower with gabled crown;
- medium pitched gable roof with moulded fascia;
- shingle cladding on north, east and south sides with corner-board trim;
- interior end-wall chimney.
The character-defining elements of the Brenton Cemetery include:
- mixture of old and new grave markers;
- bound by a page wire fence on north, east and west sides and by a stone wall on south side;
- grass-covered pathways separating plots;
- set well back from road behind church building.