Description du lieu patrimonial
Christ Church is located on the northwest corner of King Street and Wentworth Road in the town of Windsor. The large Gothic Revival structure dominates the area. The land and building are included in the municipal designation.
In addition to its fine architecture and role in the community of Windsor, Christ Church is valued for its association with Bishop Charles Inglis, architect Stephen Earle, King's Collegiate School (now King's-Edgehill), the University of King’s College, and the 112th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.
The Anglican Church has deep ties to the history of Windsor. The first Bishop of Nova Scotia, Charles Inglis founded King’s Collegiate School in 1788 and King’s College the following year in Windsor. Inglis also designed the original Christ Church, which was located in what is now the Old Parish Burying Grounds, below King's College. In 1790, at the founding of the Parish of Christ Church, George III, through the Archbishop of Canterbury, presented the Parish with silver flagons, paten, two chalices and a collection plate engraved with the Royal Arms. The set is still used for special ceremonies. The oldest stained glass window in the present day Christ Church, the King Memorial window (circa 1860) was moved to Christ Church from the original church sometime after 1889.
Massachusetts architect Stephen C. Earle designed the Carpenter Gothic Revival church. It is the only church of this style in Windsor and it has the common features of the Carpenter Gothic style – a pointed spire tower roof, rectangular gable towers, high pitched roofs and long, narrow, lancet windows to emphasize the vertical lines of the structure and draw the eye up. The interior roof beams are known as “Alpha and Omega” and allow for a much higher central ceiling.
Prior to working on this church, Earle designed and supervised the building of Trinity Church in Digby, N.S. He donated the same plans to the building committee of Christ Church on the condition that no exterior changes be made to the design. Also at this time, St. Paul’s Church in Trinity, Newfoundland was under construction using the same plans.
The cornerstone of Christ Church was laid in 1882, and the first service held in March, 1884. A local contractor, Joseph Taylor, built the church almost entirely of local oak, ash, and elm. The Windsor Foundry Company manufactured much of the hardware such as door hinges and bolts used in the construction. Christ Church housed the first pipe organ in Windsor, which was designed and built in 1893 by S.R. Warren and Sons of Toronto.
After the fire of 1897 that caused great damage through the town, Christ Church was the only church in Windsor to survive the fire. It opened its doors to other congregations of the town facilities until they were able to rebuild.
Dedicated in 1902, the stained glass window below the Sunday Rose Window is in memory of a famous former parishioner of the original church, judge and author Thomas Chandler Haliburton. Other congregants include poet Bliss Carman and his cousin, Charles G.D. Roberts, who taught at King’s College from 1885 until 1895.
After depositing their colours in Christ Church in 1916, the 112th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force embarked from Halifax for duty in various theatres of World War I. The colours are now retired at Christ Church.
The church has maintained an important role in Windsor as a place of worship and meeting in the community. It also provides a connection between the town and the students of Kings-Edgehill School (formerly King’s Collegiate School and Edgehill School for Girls).
Source: Windsor-West Hants Joint Planning Advisory Committee Heritage Property files.
Character-defining elements of Christ Church relate to its Carpenter Gothic Revival style and use as a church and include:
- wood frame structure;
- "alpha and omega" beams;
- pointed spire tower roof;
- rectangular gable towers;
- high pitched roofs;
- long, narrow, lancet windows;
- all stained glass windows including window removed from original church, Thomas Chandler Haliburton window and the Sunday School memorial rose window;
- S.R. Warren and Sons organ;
- two doors on front elevation, one beside the tower and a covered entrance at the rear;
- central location in the town of Windsor.