Friday, February 6, 2009

Old Holy Trinity, Middleton

Shortly after making my post on Christchurch in Karsdale, I received an email setting the context of how blessed we are to have four 18th century churches in Annapolis County. In the Canadian Maritimes there are 13 surviving 18th century churches. 12 of these churches are located in Nova Scotia. Of these 12, four are located in Annapolis County. Considering the context, this is really an abundance of old churches

Today's post brings us a little bit outside of my normal boundaries in the western part of Annapolis County. In fact, I am going all the way to the other end of the county and our neighbouring community of Middleton. It is in Middleton that we find Old Holy Trinity Anglican Church which was opened in 1791. This charming little church sits in a grove of oak trees and is surrounded by a cemetery.

Land for the church was acquired by the Parish of Wilmot in a grant by Governor John Parr. Construction of the church began in 1789 under the direction of Rev. John Wiswall who served the Church of England's Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG). As an irrelevant side note, the SPG is possibly my favorite organization names. Legend has it that Rev. Wiswall even did much of the physical work during the construction of the church. Thanks to his work and determination, Rev. Wiswall was named the first Rector of the church. Although the steeple was not finished until 1797, the church was finished enough to allow for services in 1791. This church, like many of its 18th century contemporaries is no longer used as an active house of worship but it is used for various special services.

The building itself is a simple white structure clad in clapboard. The most striking feature of this church is the large wooden keystone window at the back of the structure. I have seen a very interesting presentation given by Troy Wood who did the conservation work for this window. All of the panes were removed and numbered while the wooden muntin bars were repaired. When he finished all of the panes went back into their original locations.

The interior of the church has been hardly changed since the building was finished. The original pulpit and box pews are still in place. It is striking how the simplicity of this building.

There is a large graveyard surrounding the church. This graveyard, which actually continues on the opposite side of the road as well, contains some of the earliest tombstones in Annapolis County. Since this continues as one of the main cemeteries in Middleton, it is interesting to wander around an see the changes in the styles and materials used for tombstones over the last 250 years.

All for now,


  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. A beautiful church to visit. It is open for viewing every summer. Anniversary services are held there every September and it has been the lovely setting for the occasional wedding.