Saturday, November 14, 2015

Pioneer Church at Rockingham

While I am calling it the pioneer church, it is simply known as the Rockingham Church although it was originally known as St. Leonard’s Anglican Church.

It was built in 1875 when there was much more going on in Rockingham than there is today. Today, in fact, the church and a few houses seem to be all that there is to find. The scrollable map below will attest to the isolation of Rockingham. Do click to move around or use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out in order to get a better idea of the location.


Sue and I had visited twice in the past, but we thought we would take our inlaws on a field trip when we were staying with them at the cottage in late September and early October.

The church sits up on a  little hill with a cemetery around it. I try to picture the parishioners struggling up the hill in winter. I suppose, however, that most of the pioneer folk were young and hardy.

Here it is on our last visit in 2011. Just imagine making that climb on a blustery Sunday morning in January.
Historical plaque near the bottom of the climb.
Taken on our recent visit, the path from the previous is on the other side where you see a bit of a railing near the corner. We are only about 1/3 of the way down in this photo. I wanted to get a view including both the church and surrounding gravestones.
Here's looking back down from inside in another older photo.
Before we take a gander around inside, here is another view of the building.

Inside, the church is about what you would expect with its hard pews, but the wood is all very attractive and well preserved. Once again, these photos are a mixture of old (2011) and new shots.


I believe that is the original stove or one much like it.
I can't imagine that it was terribly effective,
especially for those sitting near the back,
which is where I would have been.



There is quite a bit more information about the history, architecture and maintenance at this site of the Pembroke library.

The combination of the map (above) and these directions should get you there. It could be made part of a daytrip from Carleton Place although it might be a little long for some.

Directions from the Pembroke Library website:
The Rockingham Church is located at the junction of John Watson Road and the Rockingham Road, in the village of Rockingham. From the east (Killaloe or Eganville), turn off Hwy. 512 at Brudenell onto Renfrew County Road #66 (the Opeongo Line). Turn left onto Renfrew County Road #68 (the Letterkenny Road) and follow the signs to Rockingham. From the west (Combermere), turn off Hwy. 62 onto Hwy. 515. Turn left immediately onto Renfrew County Road #68 (the Rockingham Road) and follow to Rockingham.

13 comments:

Tabor said...

The wooden tones and shadows are very nice in this old church. No distractions for those that come to worship. But it is way up there in the cold north and you have to be religious to get out in the snowy winter weather.

Marie Pretty Smith said...

The people come and go, then disappear altogether. However the work of their hands is testament to their existence and their craft. Beautiful photos and location!

Mara said...

I love that old stove, although I think it might have been for the vicar only. I have an old woodburner and it will give off enough heat if standing or sitting in the near vicinity. Any further and you will need an extra layer of clothes!

I love the first photo of the church and the gravestones. Very atmospheric.

Jackie said...

This is exactly the kind of blogpost that I LOVE....
I used the wheel on my mouse to zoom out to see where the church was located....
And the church...beautiful!! The wood is perfectly preserved on the inside. I love the old wood stove. (Smiled when I read that you would be sitting at the back of the church. Perhaps if I was playing the organ pictured, I could persuade you to move a little closer to the front.) :)
Love the cemetery. I love everything about this post.
Thank you so much for sharing it.
Jackie

Mage said...

Gimpa called his arthritis Plumbago. Many folks would have found that hill impossible to climb, and the minister would have made a house call or two. Charming church.

Kathleen's Blog said...

Wow---simple beautiful!!! If those walls could talk.

Lorna said...

nothing so fascinating as an old, sadly unused church and graveyard

troutbirder said...

The scenes & history of these relics from the past always fascinate. Great post, AC

Vicki Lane said...

What a pretty little church! Most appealing. And lovely pictures.

Ginnie said...

You go to the most interesting places, AC. I love the design of the church and it's fun to imagine it with the original people there.

Shammickite said...

A lovely little church. I can just imagine sitting on those hard pews, dreaming of my Sunday dinner to come, feet freezing because the heat from the stove isn't reaching me, and dozing off as the minister drones on and on and on......

Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Wow- now that's a beautiful church, graveyard and grounds. I would like to see that in person.

EG CameraGirl said...

I very much like the exterior of this rustic church but I bet the pews re indeed hard!