The Exterior Architecture of St Barts
The building which Thomas Seaton Scott designed in 1867, no bigger than a chapel, is an admirably simple product of the Gothic Revival of the nineteenth century - when one thinks of the ornament lavished on the larger buildings of the period. Its low buttressed walls of local limestone support a steep roof, which was originally straddled by a belfry over the east end and a little spire over the west; these were removed in 1925, by which time they had deteriorated and funds were lacking for restoration. For a quarter-century Princess Louise's bells lay on the ground behind the church. On the street side, facing the grounds of Rideau Hall, the roof line is punctuated by iron- created dormers and a small porch. A bronze tablet beside the porch gives civic recognition to the church as a ‘heritage’ building. Set into the east wall, facing Victoria Street, is the corner-stone laid by Lord Monck in 1868; it is marked with a bronze tablet. The large east window was originally filled with the ‘Decorated’ Gothic tracery found in the other windows. It acquired its present ‘Early English’ tracery at the time of the installation of the stained glass in 1919. In 1925 the church was lengthened by one bay to the west, and in 1952, through a bequest from Annie McLeod Clark, a wooden porch was added to insulate the congregation from the wintry blasts and to provide a place (in its gable) for the bells. In 1985 a portion of a generous bequest from Mrs. Doris Brodribb was applied to the rebuilding of the porch in stone, strengthening the structure and making the belfry secure. Above the door is the heraldic shield of St. Bartholomew: the three knives of his martyrdom. The shield is both the work and the gift of Mr. Gordon Macpherson of Burlington, Ontario. In 2012 the parish embarked on an extensive renewal project. Work included a new roof, the renovation of a portion the exterior facade, restoration work on the East Window and new iron onamentaion.