St. Mark’s Hall (formerly St. Mark’s Anglican Church) The Anglican parish of St. Mark’s was founded in Deseronto (the Mill Point) in 1876 under The Rev. E.H.M. Baker and named after his church of ordination in Britain. In 1880 The Rev. Thomas Stanton was appointed the first incumbent of the new St. Mark’s church and, according to Anglican tradition the first ‘official’ service did not take place until the building was nearing completion in 1887, and consecration of the building did not occur until 1892 when the debt for construction was paid off. The church was deconsecrated at the end of 2001 and became a residence in 2003. Architecture St. Mark’s was constructed to the design of nationally significant architect Frank Darling, as an Anglican church in the Gothic Revival style. It features solid limestone walls (2.5 to 3 feet thick), a steep gable wood roof, and a 5-level tower (now 4) that houses the main and lower level entrances and a bell in the top-level belfry (please see insert on this style). The nave and lower two levels of the tower were constructed in 1878-79, and in 1887-88 the chancel and remaining levels of the tower were added (photo bottom right). The tower was shortened by one level in the mid-20th century. The structure is set into the slope of a hill. As a result, on the front (south) side, the lower level/basement (housing the former parish hall and chapel—since the 1950s a kitchen below the chancel) appears as a full storey. The exterior stone work shows only modest decorative work for a 19th-century town church, such as ashlar string courses and window reveals, and square plugs of white Kingston limestone set in a diaper pattern on the south and west walls (the latter was formerly more visible). Almost all the windows, on all levels, are pointed arches. Save for two windows, all the fenestration of the nave and chancel is stained glass, this includes: the seven pairs of windows along the sides of the nave, the large west window, the trio of windows on the east wall above the altar, and eight dormer windows in the roof. These windows range in date from the 1880s until the 1990s, and from a variety of makers. At least two were made by McCausland Ltd. of Toronto—one of North America’s leading stained glass window firms. In addition to the 26 stained glass windows above, there are two windows lighting the lower-level kitchen composed of coloured and etched plate glass, from the late-19th century. Leaded windows with diamond-shaped, translucent cathedral glass formerly lit the lower hall, but these were removed in the early 1980s. In addition to the windows, the interior of the nave of St. Mark’s is distinguished by the commanding wood ceilings: the nave has a Hammerbeam structure that rises to an impressive height of about 32 feet, while the chancel ceiling is shaped like a boat hull and rises to about 25 feet in height. The beams are supported by terra cotta brackets. Valuable fixed, interior components include: the interior woodwork (wide plank floors of pine, wainscoting, doors, cupboards, and interior window sills—the latter pine planks more than 2 feet wide); the Lye & Sons, 650-pipe, tracker organ, of 1901 (relocated to St. Mark’s in 1911 on the north wall of the chancel); the one-tonne, bronze bell of 1888 from the McShane Bell Foundry of Baltimore; and the pulpit. Liturgical furniture and furnishings that remain include the altar, white marble font, prayer desks, Bishop’s and other religious chairs, liturgical brass and altar clothes, pews (of which the seat portion is composed of a single plank of wood), and an harmonium (ca. 1900 parlour pump organ) in the lower hall. Architect Frank Darling lived from 1850-1923, and was the son of the rector of Church of the Holy Trinity, Toronto. He trained with Henry Langley upon graduating from Upper Canada College and Trinity College—both in Toronto. In 1870-73 he worked in the London offices of George Edmund Street, and then Sir Arthur W. Blomfield—both leading architects in Britain at the time. Returning to Canada, he joined Henry Macdougall in a partnership and, with the exception of two brief periods in the 1870s, this was the first in a series of partnerships that spanned Darling’s career and concluded with the firm of Darling and Pearson (John A. Pearson) which designed the current Centre Block of Parliament in Ottawa.

(Click on the image above for a closer look.)

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St. Mark’s Hall (formerly St. Mark’s Anglican Church)

The Anglican parish of St. Mark’s was founded in Deseronto (the Mill Point) in 1876 under The Rev. E.H.M. Baker and named after his church of ordination in Britain. In 1880 The Rev. Thomas Stanton was appointed the first incumbent of the new St. Mark’s church and, according to Anglican tradition the first ‘official’ service did not take place until the building was nearing completion in 1887, and consecration of the building did not occur until 1892 when the debt for construction was paid off. The church was deconsecrated at the end of 2001 and became a residence in 2003.

Architecture

St. Mark’s was constructed to the design of nationally significant architect Frank Darling, as an Anglican church in the Gothic Revival style. It features solid limestone walls (2.5 to 3 feet thick), a steep gable wood roof, and a 5-level tower (now 4) that houses the main and lower level entrances and a bell in the top-level belfry (please see insert on this style). The nave and lower two levels of the tower were constructed in 1878-79, and in 1887-88 the chancel and remaining levels of the tower were added (photo bottom right). The tower was shortened by one level in the mid-20th century.

The structure is set into the slope of a hill. As a result, on the front (south) side, the lower level/basement (housing the former parish hall and chapel—since the 1950s a kitchen below the chancel) appears as a full storey. The exterior stone work shows only modest decorative work for a 19th-century town church, such as ashlar string courses and window reveals, and square plugs of white Kingston limestone set in a diaper pattern on the south and west walls (the latter was formerly more visible).

Almost all the windows, on all levels, are pointed arches. Save for two windows, all the fenestration of the nave and chancel is stained glass, this includes: the seven pairs of windows along the sides of the nave, the large west window, the trio of windows on the east wall above the altar, and eight dormer windows in the roof. These windows range in date from the 1880s until the 1990s, and from a variety of makers. At least two were made by McCausland Ltd. of Toronto—one of North America’s leading stained glass window firms. In addition to the 26 stained glass windows above, there are two windows lighting the lower-level kitchen composed of coloured and etched plate glass, from the late-19th century. Leaded windows with diamond-shaped, translucent cathedral glass formerly lit the lower hall, but these were removed in the early 1980s.

In addition to the windows, the interior of the nave of St. Mark’s is distinguished by the commanding wood ceilings: the nave has a Hammerbeam structure that rises to an impressive height of about 32 feet, while the chancel ceiling is shaped like a boat hull and rises to about 25 feet in height. The beams are supported by terra cotta brackets. Valuable fixed, interior components include: the interior woodwork (wide plank floors of pine, wainscoting, doors, cupboards, and interior window sills—the latter pine planks more than 2 feet wide); the Lye & Sons, 650-pipe, tracker organ, of 1901 (relocated to St. Mark’s in 1911 on the north wall of the chancel); the one-tonne, bronze bell of 1888 from the McShane Bell Foundry of Baltimore; and the pulpit. Liturgical furniture and furnishings that remain include the altar, white marble font, prayer desks, Bishop’s and other religious chairs, liturgical brass and altar clothes, pews (of which the seat portion is composed of a single plank of wood), and an harmonium (ca. 1900 parlour pump organ) in the lower hall.

Architect

Frank Darling lived from 1850-1923, and was the son of the rector of Church of the Holy Trinity, Toronto. He trained with Henry Langley upon graduating from Upper Canada College and Trinity College—both in Toronto. In 1870-73 he worked in the London offices of George Edmund Street, and then Sir Arthur W. Blomfield—both leading architects in Britain at the time.

Returning to Canada, he joined Henry Macdougall in a partnership and, with the exception of two brief periods in the 1870s, this was the first in a series of partnerships that spanned Darling’s career and concluded with the firm of Darling and Pearson (John A. Pearson) which designed the current Centre Block of Parliament in Ottawa.

Gothic Revival Style

This style was inspired by buildings from medieval Europe. Initially introduced in Canada in the 1820s-1830s , the style persisted across Canada for over a century, especially in religious architecture. Identified by features such as the pointed arch for door and window openings, buttresses and pinnacles, the style evolved through various stages: the rational phase promoted by a group of British theologians known as the Ecclesiologists; the High Victorian Gothic phase, which sanctioned polychromy, asymmetry, texture and picturesque effects; and the beaux-arts phase, which witnessed a return to symmetry and monumentality.

The Gothic Revival style is readily illustrated in St. Mark’s by the pointed arch window and door openings, buttresses which are stepped on both the walls and corners of the tower, and medieval ecclesiastical-style tower. St. Mark’s reflects the Ecclesiological leanings of architect Frank Darling, which was a movement started by British theologians in the 1840s that sought to revive medieval liturgical and Gothic architectural traditions, and which his father and brother promoted as prominent Anglican clerics in Toronto in the second half of the 19th century. In St. Mark’s this is demonstrated by what was considered at the time to be a clear expression of the functional and structural form of the building, such as exposed roof beams, wood roof structure, simple rectangular plan (known as a hall plan) which was deemed appropriate for small or rural parishes, and a plan that made a clear separation of nave and chancel which supported the revival of liturgical practices that were considered more historically correct. In homage to his family Frank offered his architectural services free of charge to Anglican parishes of limited means—such as St. Mark’s.