Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia - Where History Meets Opportunity

Phone: 902.532.2043

478 St. George Street

478 St. George Street, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, B0S 1A0, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/10/23

Front Facade, 2017

Side Facade, 2017

South Elevation

North Elevation

South East Elevation

Other Name(s)
478 St. George Street
Runciman House
Girvan Bank - Runciman House

Links and Documents

Construction Date(s)
1817/01/01 to 1817/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/04/12

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

478 St George Street, Annapolis Royal, N.S., also known as the Runciman House and as Girvan Bank, was built in 1817. The house is a rare, intact, one-and-one half storey residence in the Regency style. The building is on a large lot set back separated from the main street by a well landscaped yard. The main floor level is below street level. The designation includes the building and surrounding property.

Heritage Value

Historic Value:

The historic value of the property, as recognized in its municipal designation, lies in its historical associations. The house was constructed in 1817 for Rev. John Millidge, Rector of St. Luke’s Church, based on the designs of a British architect who was summoned specifically for the purpose. St. Luke’s Church was the official church of the British Garrison stationed at Annapolis Royal. The building served as the home of the Rector of St. Luke’s Anglican Church from 1817-1836 and was named Girvan Bank by Rev. Millidge. The house then passed to the Runciman family who were leading local merchants. In the 1980s the house was sold to Heritage Canada. The architecture style of the house is Regency. (There are few other reported examples. One in Yarmouth, N.S. and another example is Government House in Halifax, N.S.)

Architectural Value:

The architectural value of the building, as recognized in its municipal designation, is its unaltered appearance and Regency style. The Regency style is rare in Nova Scotia and Runciman Houe is one of the best examples in the province. It is a one-and-one-half storey, square, wooden building that sits on a cut stone foundation. The walls are covered with wood shingles with wooden corner boards and a water table at the foundation. The roof is bell cast hip, covered in wooden shingles with two joined, parged, symmetrical chimneys offset to either side of the central door. The single dormer at the rear has a gabled roof with no over hang. The eaves are plain wooden boxed cornices. The curved bays connect to the hip roof in a vault and the wide bell cast eaves house the Palladian double windows. A half round decorative fan light window is centered on the second floor over the main door. The formal entrance portico and finely detailed balustrade gallery leads to a central flat structural door surrounded by moulded trim. The door is recessed with flush side light panels and a flush transom light panel with mullions. The wooden door is double with three plain recessed panels in each door.

Source: Heritage Property Files, Map #067, 478 St. George Street, Annapolis Heritage Society.

Character-defining Elements

Character-defining elements of 478 St. George Street relate to its Regency style and include:

- one-and-one-half storeys;
- bell cast hip roof with wooden shingles;
- two symmetrically offset parged brick chimneys;
- matching bays with Palladian windows eight-over-twelve on main floor and four-over-four on second floor that connect to hip roof in a vault;
- half round window centered above main door;
- formal entrance portico and finely detailed balustrade gallery;
- double wooden door with side panel and transom lights;
- location set back from the road.


Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority
Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute
Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type
Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)
1842/01/01 to 1936/01/01 and 1817/01/01 to 1836/01/01

Theme - Category and Type
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Philosophy and Spirituality
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type

Single Dwelling

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Property Files, Town Hall, 285 St.George Street, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

FED/PROV/TERR Identifier