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Orwell Church - Orwell, PEI
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 46° 09.403 W 062° 50.060
20T E 512791 N 5111473
Quick Description: There are churches which have the word "Free" in their names but this was truly a "Free" church, as both the land and the materials which comprise the building were donated.
Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
Date Posted: 12/6/2017 11:30:17 PM
Waymark Code: WMX78D
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member MountainWoods
Views: 0

Long Description:
Built in 1861 as a Scottish Presbyterian Church, St. Andrew's Presbyterian, in 1925 it became St. Andrew's United Church with Church Union in Canada. The Gothic Revival building continued to serve the congregation until the late '60s, when a new St. Andrew's United was built at Vernon Bridge.

Today the church is one of the attractions at the Orwell Corner Historic Village, an authentic historic village of old buildings which once constituted the Village of Orwell. The intent of the village is to preserve the old village and present it as it was circa 1895.

Opening days and hours for the village for 2015 were as follows:
(Future years should be essentially the same)

July 1 to Friday August 28 - Daily 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Closed Sept 7st to allow our staff to enjoy a well deserved Labour Day
August 31 to Sat October 16. Open Monday to Friday 9:15 am to 4:45 pm
We will close for the season at 4:45 pm Friday October 16

Church and Cemetery Presbyterians who first settled in Orwell joined the Belfast congregation nearby. However, steady population growth brought about construction of the Orwell Presbyterian Church in 1861 where services were conducted in Gaelic and English. Hymns were sung unaccompanied with the congregation following the lead of the percentor until 1892 when a choir platform and an organ were added. In 1925 the Orwell congregation became part of the United Church of Canada. With a new church at Vernon, services at Orwell were discontinued. The church has recently been refurbished to the period of the 1930s. The adjacent cemetery dates back to 1884 and is still used by Orwell congregation families.
From the Orwell Corner Historic Village

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Orwell Church

The Orwell Church was the former St. Andrew's United Church. It is a white shingle clad building located in the Orwell Corner Historic Village. Constructed in 1861 with Gothic Revival architectural influences, the church was decommissioned in 1978 and leased to the Province of Prince Edward Island as part of the historic village. The designation includes the footprint of the building, it does not include the building's interior.

The Orwell Church (former St. Andrew's United Church) is valued as a well preserved example of a Gothic Revival style early Scottish Presbyterian house of worship in Prince Edward Island. It was constructed in 1861 for a growing congregation and was then affiliated with the nearby Belfast Presbyterian Church and shared a Minister with them. The builder was Martin Martin of Grandview and the church was designed initially to be 40 feet long and 26 feet wide with a plaster wall interior. All of the building materials and labour were donated. Even the land was donated by Peter Nicholson.

The Gothic Revival style was common in church architecture of the 19th Century. It was characterized by a strong vertical emphasis which translated into pointed arches used above windows and even doorways.

The church was expanded in 1891 with the addition of a 20 by 40 foot transept across the back of the original structure to allow for the inclusion of a pump organ and choir platform. Prior to this change, there was no music during services other than the singing of Psalms. The Scottish heritage of the congregation was strong and even into the early 20th Century, it was common for services to be conducted in Gaelic as well as English.

The adjacent cemetery, dating from 1884, is still used by the community. The Orwell congregation became affiliated with the United Church of Canada in 1925. It was amalgamated in the late 1960s with eight other smaller churches and a new St. Andrew's United Church was established at Vernon Bridge.

The heritage value of the St. Andrew's United Church at Orwell is shown in the following Gothic Revival influenced character-defining elements:

- the overall massing of the building
- the gabled roofs and eave returns
- the wooden shingled cladding
- the style and placement of the Gothic arched lancet windows with decorative tracery and simple trim details
- the style and placement of the doorways with their transom pointed arch windows and tracery
- the central tower with its spiked spire

Other character-defining elements include:
- the location of the church as part of the Orwell Corner Historic Village
From Historic Places Canada

Church Name: Orwell Church

Church In Use (even only just occassionally): yes

Date Church Built: 1861

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Pictures required:
1. Church picture
2. Church sign (schedule sign with Church name on it &/or gate with Church name, etc).
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