Here’s the church, and here’s the steeple

What a lot was going on over the weekend. Switch and Word On the Street were our Sunday destinations  but on Saturday we left town for the Garlic Festival at Avondale Winery in Newport Landing.

I enjoy events in the country where you park in mowed fields.  There were lots of folks so a big field was required.


We bought garlic to eat and plant (excited to try some soft neck).  I’m a fan of the old church building the Winery transported by barge and moved on to their site, but I had forgotten what a brilliant neighbour they have in the Avondale United Church across the road.


The steeple is unique with its miniature Mansard roof and elongated dormers . It feels  New England.


The building is being gradually restored and members of the congregation had the building open and were pleased to accept a little money and proud to show off their sanctuary.  It was a treasure.

Start with the  minimal,  pinstripe moldings around the door.   Very strange.


The true surprises were the original paint surfaces and decorative schemes  in the gallery (that had not been used for years).   The plaster walls had been covered with a heavy textile and then stenciled.  Here is the  lovely resolution when the design around the window meets and merges with the border.


In the steep staircase there is a trifecta of decorative schemes: Two bands of stenciling above expertly painted wood grain.

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The woodwork shows great confidence of line.

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If you want to support the Church restoration,  a tasty way would be to attend a pig roast  at the winery on  October 5.  Profits go to the Church restoration fund.


PS    Do you know of more stenciling out there?  I suspect it was fairly common around the end of the 1800s but often has been painted over.  A couple of examples I have photos of are in St John”s in Lunenburg and  Wesley United ChurchPetite Riviere.

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About the author

Stephen Archibald

It’s Stephen Archibald doing the noticing. I’m a huge fan of Nova Scotia’s material culture and cultural landscapes. Twitter (@Cove17 ) made me realize I could share what attracted my attention (perfect for my very short attention) and I’m gratified when folks enjoy my content. Pleased to meet you on the internet.