In this Cornwall Homes post, I wanted to share with you guys one of the most spectacular examples of Gothic architecture we have in Cornwall, which is the Trinity Anglican Church. I am really not a religious person, so I'm mainly presenting these photos as a lover of Gothic architecture. These photos were taken a few years ago at an open house event.
The church is just a few blocks away from my home, and is on one of the busiest streets in Cornwall (Second Street).
People who are lucky enough to live near the church are treated to its magnificent bells, which are electronically programmed to ring melodies every hour, followed by the hour strike on the deepest bell. I believe the tower has 8 fixed bells and 1 swinging bell. If you're a fan of carillons, I have several video clips of the bells playing on my YouTube channel. This is one of my favourites from the bunch:
The history of the Anglican Church in Cornwall goes back to 1787, but the current church was built in 1869, and opened for service in 1875. It is also known as the "Bishop Strachan Memorial Church". You can read more about it on various websites, including the church's official site here: http://www.trinityanglicancornwall.ca/
For the longest time in the church's history, the tower did not have a steeple (roof). The roof is aluminum (it had to be a light material, since Cornwall has a lot of clay in the soil, and we have very few tall buildings because of this), and it was added in the 1980s, I believe.
I have always loved the exterior of the church, but when I finally got to see the interior, I was blown away. I don't have a photo of the church's exterior, but you can see it in the videos. I'm focusing on the interior.
One of the most amazing features in this church is the stained glass. These are some of the most beautiful I have seen in a typical church. Tons of deep, rich jewel tones, and lots of detail.
The second most striking feature is the hammerbeam roof (yes I had to look up that term).
The church boasts a beautiful set of columns, marble tiled floors, and a beautiful organ.
The woodwork panelling that houses the organ is solid 1/4 sawn white oak.
During my visit, I was lucky enough to be given a tour by the music director. He showed me the small bell clavier in the tower (for manual playing of the bells).
To play, each lever is marked with a musical note, and you just push down on them, or play with balled fists on the levers.
Each lever on the clavier is connected by a cable to each of the bells in the tower.
If that wasn't cool enough, the music director also let me climb up into the organ with him to see the pipes. There are wooden ones, and tin/lead ones, anywhere from a few inches long (tiny lead ones) to huge ones that are dozens of feet long, and maybe 5 inches wide. I even think that some of the huge square wooden pipes may have been about a foot wide. I can't honestly remember. Another interesting note is that a lot of the pipes you see on the exterior of the organ are fake. Only some of those are real, and the others are "for show". Each pipe needs to be carefully tuned, so we had to be very careful not to touch anything, or hook anything. The lead pipes are very soft and fragile.
Different types of pipes will give different types of sounds. There's one pipe for each key on the keyboard, and there are many sets of pipes, which can be used in many combinations. You can use just 1 set, 2, 3, or even all of them at the same time. It all depends what you're playing.
I was treated to a piece by Bach on the organ, which was wonderful. I've been meaning to go back again, but poor planning meant that I missed their last open house. I could go on any Sunday, but I'd feel awkward to be there only for the music.