St. John the Baptist Anglican Church
Table of Contents

Title Page
Carrville United Church
Headford United Church
Holy Trinity Anglican Church
Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church
Richmond Hill United Church
St. John the Baptist Anglican Church
St. Luke's Roman Catholic Church
St. Mary's Anglican Church
Temperanceville United Church

St. John's (Jefferson) is located just south of Stouffville Sideroad, in Richmond Hill, near the site of the short-lived settlement of Windham founded by Comte de Puisaye in 1798. A plaque was erected in front of the church in 1958 by the York Pioneer and Historical Society to commemorate these settlers, fugitives from the French Revolution who were granted 22 lots along Yonge Street in the late 1700s.

The original church was a clapboarded timber frame structure, constructed in the Classical Revival architectural style. It was built by John Turner on land donated by Captain Martin Donald MacLeod of the King's Own Regiment, a prominent member of the congregation. MacLeod also owned Drynoch Farm at the northwest corner of Yonge Street and the Jefferson Sideroad, where he resided.

In 1912, red brick cladding was applied and other alterations were made, resulting in the current appearance of the building.

Architecturally, St. John's Anglican Church is a simple interpretation of the Gothic Revival style. The building has a picturesque silhouette, with the main body accented by a small enclosed porch centred on the west elevation, a chancel. Each gable-roofed component is of a different height, stepping down in progression from the main part of the church. There is a small, gable-roofed belfry with Gothic-arched openings at the west end of the main roof.

The tall, slim Gothic-arched windows contain pictorial and geometrically patterned leaded glass. A rose window on the west elevation contains pictorial leaded glass.

The red brick cladding is decorated with voussoirs, a 5 course plinth, a raised belt course in the west gable, raised voussoirs around the rose window, and a Gothic-arched arcade on the west wall of the porch. Brick buttresses accent the north and south walls of the main part of the building.

Inside, on the east wall behind the altar, the reredos comprise a series of four painted canvas panels containing
The Lord's Prayer, The Ten Commandments and The Apostle's Creed.
The illuminated panels have gold lettering in an Old English script, on a background of royal blue. They are believed to be one of two known examples of the work of Reverend C.R. Clerk, who painted an identical set at Christ Church, Port Sydney, Ontario, between 1880 and 1883.

St. John's cemetery contains numerous marble and granite grave markers, many dating from the 19th century. Names of many of Jefferson's pioneer families are represented. Most of the markers are freestanding slab, block and obelisk styles, and a number exhibit elaborately carved decoration.

Burials were made in orderly rows and family plots on either side of a central lane that runs east to west. A number of early marble markers which originally stood upright are lying flat on the ground or in a gravel-filled wooden crib. Historically, it is known that the cemetery was enclosed by a fence. A picket fence was built along the Yonge Street frontage of the property in 1861.

Memorial windows at the church include:


Ida May Chatterley

Elizabeth, George, John, Mary, Rosa, and Thomas Harper

Ann and Giles Kerswill and Martin Donald MacLeod

James Legge

Matilda Legge

Wilmot Howard Legge

Douglas Schuyler Snively

Description of St. John's Anglican Church courtesy of the Richmond Hill Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee (LACAC).

To browse through the cemetery, click here.


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