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St. John's Anglican Church and Cemetery - Port Williams, NS
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 45° 06.596 W 064° 26.015
20T E 387228 N 4996162
Quick Description: Based on the work of English architect Christopher Wren, this church was designed by John Burbidge who, by profession, was more of a politician than an architect, serving as judge, militia colonel and member of the first Provincial Legislature.
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Date Posted: 8/31/2015 5:47:10 PM
Waymark Code: WMPH7B
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member sailor_dave
Views: 0

Long Description:
An authentically old church, construction on the building began in 1804 but completion was delayed by financial constraints until 1912. The exterior was closed in soon enough, but the spire, constructed in the bottom of the tower, was not raised into place until 1810. It was in that year that services were first held in the building, while the interior waited two more years for completion. The present building replaced a meeting house style structure constructed in 1770. Upon the commencement of construction of this church it was moved a short distance to the west, where it still serves as a garden shed.

The parish was established in 1760 and the cemetery, which occupies the majority of the church grounds, is of a vintage similar to that of the present church. To date it has accepted something over 225 interments. The earliest known burial was that of John Prescott (born 1800), who passed away on September 7, 1801. The most recent was in the 2000s.

The first St. John’s Church, built by Colonel Burbidge and others at Fox Hill, Lower Church Street in 1770 is still in use today. It has become a charming garden house located on the Nickerson property on Church Street immediately to the west of St. John’s Cornwallis and the Parish Hall.

The Parish of Cornwallis celebrated two milestones in 2010—the 250th anniversary of the establishment of the Parish by a Royal Mandate granted in the name of King George III; and the 200th anniversary of the erection of the new and second St. John’s Church pictured here.St. Johns The anniversary was the occasion for year long celebration and the publication of a parish history and the establishment of a parish archives.

Begun in 1804, St. John’s Cornwallis is one of the oldest, continuously operating Anglican Churches in Nova Scotia. Details of its construction have been well documented in church records, and additional information is found in various publications by the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, collections held in the Provincial Archives, and historical writings on Kings County.

Services have been held at the present St. John’s church building continuously for over 200 years. The church has been lovingly maintained by successive Rectors, Vestries, Parish Councils and parishioners for the past 200 years and is in excellent condition. We are blessed that no major calamities have been visited upon the building. The church building is essentially unchanged since it was built, except for the addition of a sanctuary, vestry and choir stalls in 1869, and the installation of stained glass windows in the early to mid 1900s.
From the Parish of Cornwallis

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St. John's Anglican Church and Cemetery

St. John's Anglican Church and Cemetery are located on the corner of Church Street and Highway 358 in Port Williams, Nova Scotia. This Neo-classically inspired wooden church was built between 1804 and 1812, and is on a picturesque lot surrounded by large, mature trees. The building, cemetery and property are included in the provincial heritage designation.

John Burbidge is accredited with designing the church. Burbidge immigrated to Halifax from the Isle of Wright with Governor Cornwallis in 1749. He was one of the original grantees of the Cornwallis Township in 1761 and received several appointments including judge of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas and was a colonel in the local militia. Burbidge was also a member of the First Assembly of the Provincial Legislature in 1758 and remained a member until 1770. He based the design of St. John’s on the work of English architect Christopher Wren, including its outstanding steeple.

Construction on the church began in 1804, when the frame was raised, roof shingled, and tower was built and left open as the steeple was built inside it, with the posts resting on the floor. The spire was raised in 1808. Lack of funds delayed work on the interior of the church and it was not completed until 1812; however it was opened for service in 1810. The old meeting house was sold and moved. It still stands not far from its original location and is currently used as an antique store.

The church remains similar to it original form. In 1869 the chancel was extended to make room for a choir and a vestry was added. In 1909 J. Walter Allison presented the church with a bell in memory of his wife’s grandfather, the Hon. Charles Ramage Prescott. By 1962 the bell was beyond repair and placed in the cemetery at the east end of the church. The church hosts numerous memorial stained glass windows, including one in memory of the Hon. Charles Ramage Prescott. The cemetery, which is a combination of historic and newer markers surrounds the building on three sides. The site is located among large and mature trees giving the place a sense of tranquility and peace. The church continues to hold regular services.

Character-defining elements of St. John's Anglican Church and Cemetery include:
- wood frame construction;
- clad with wooden clapboard;
- square, saddle-back tower with decorative circular windows on each side and corner pilasters;
- intricately-detailed, octagonal lantern with open keystone arches topping tower;
- lantern topped by a rounded octagonal cap which in turn is surmounted by a slender, octagonal spire with a brass weathervane;
- Palladian window;
- main entrance ornamented by a semi-circular fan light, Georgian pediment and side pilasters;
- doorway flanked on either side by a long, round-headed arch window with decorative keystones and moulding trim;
- three similarly-styled windows placed on side elevations, and corner pilasters;
- all original and historic interior elements including a ‘wine glass’ pulpit made of mahogany;
- location on a large lot, surrounded by mature trees and cemetery.

Character-defining elements of the St. John's Anglican Church Cemetery include:
- original and historic grave stones and monuments;
- grass-covered interment areas.
From Historic Places Canada

Location of the Steeple:
1109 Church Street
Port Williams, NS Canada
B0P 1T0

Approximate Date of Construction: 1810

Website: [Web Link]

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