Return to Hamilton: St. Paul’s Church

I came upon St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church as I did one of my walks about town.  I spent some time enjoying this remarkable structure located on James Street.  There is some wonderful background on the church in the Raise the Hammer article titled First-Rate Gothic: A Look at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Hamilton written by Malcolm Thurlby.  I am begging that if you have any interest at all in the details of Gothic Architecture as it was explored in southern Ontario in the day, that my readers refer to this article.  Excellent!

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Hamilton St. Paul's Presbyterian Church Portal

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I spent some time admiring the beauty of several buildings in Hamilton.  Snapshots of an earlier day, tell the story of a determined people in a hard working town.  My great grandparents regularly attended church and I think that this was a foundation for the strength that I so admire in my family.  In my brief stay in Hamilton, I was able to take a good look at some of the buildings that remain.  A few older photographs were found in an archive titled “Concerning the Saint Paul’s Presbyterian Church and Congregation in Hamilton, Ontario 1854 – 1904”.

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P1110471 P1110472“At the south-east corner of the church there is a large Celtic Cross – The Cross of Sacrifice. It was carved in Scotland and placed here in 1921 to commemorate those of the congregation who had fallen in battle (St. Paul’s, Undated). Near Remembrance Day you will find wreaths and poppies at the base of the cross and the church holds a Service of Remembrance on the Sunday closest to November 11th each year.”

Text found here.  Another WordPress blog titled HenleysHamilton1 can be enjoyed here.

The most detailed examination of the architecture of this particular building comes from a 1993 publication called The Bulletin: Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada, an article written by Alan Seymour and Walter Peace.

St. Pauls Page one half

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4 thoughts on “Return to Hamilton: St. Paul’s Church

  1. Family legend says he had something to do with the spire on St. Paul’s Church in Hamilton. St. Paul’s, then called St. Anthony’s until 1873, opened for Divine Worship on March 8, 1857. Since Arthur was a little over a year old at the time, it could not have happened then. On two occasions, 1884 and 1909, St. Paul’s was added to, enlarged and changed. Arthur was in Calgary from 1906 to 1908 and then moved to Lethbridge. If he did have anything to do with the spire, it would have had to be in 1884.

  2. Anne, this is what Thurlby’s article says about the spire:

    St Paul’s was exceptional in 1850s Ontario for the stone spire which was completed according to Thomas’s design (Fig. 5). In Toronto, although the body of St Michael’s Catholic cathedral was completed in 1848, the belfry and spire were only added in 1865, and then not to Thomas’s original design. Similarly, St James’s Anglican Cathedral, Toronto, commenced in 1850, had to wait until 1873 for the completion of its tower and spire.

    Moreover, St Paul’s tower and spire display a host of medieval details, even from the Middle Pointed or Decorated phase of English Gothic of the late 13th and first half of the 14th century, so loved by Pugin. Comparison of St Paul’s with Pugin’s St Giles’s, Cheadle (Staffordshire) (1841-1846), demonstrates the point (Figs 5 and 6).

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