Tuesday, August 11

A Walk at Her Majesty's Chapel of the Mohawks

Today was a beautiful summer day. Yes, it was hot, but there wasn't much humidity. It was plenty warm in the van when hubby and I went to the grocery store but in the shade, it was lovely.

Mid-afternoon I went for a drive and ended up at a local historical church. Though we call it Mohawk Chapel, it is really Her Majesty's Chapel of the Mohawks.

The church was the first protestant church in Upper Canada (now Ontario) and was built by the Crown in 1785. At that time what is now Canada was under British rule. The Crown gave the church to the Mohawk Indians, who were led by Joseph Brant, for their support as Allies during the American Revolution. When the British lost, Brant lead his people to the Grand River Valley and the Crown awarded them 760,000 acres along the Grand River.

Many United Empire Loyalists also settled in this area and some are buried in the cemetery beside the church, which is the oldest remaining church in Ontario and the only Royal Chapel in North America. Native Canadians are also buried here.

The above photo was taken from the front steps. In recent years a lot of renovations have taken place.
The front doors and the gardens. Everything is so pretty here and the Chapel is surrounded by many different species of trees.

This is the original Chapel bell. A few years ago it was stolen from this spot in the fall. The next spring it was found along the banks of the Grand River. Why would anyone want to destroy a piece of history for no logical reason? It was then restored and hung where it stands today.

The gardens are beautiful. Many of the flowers have gone to seed, but there were still many beautiful blooms on both side of the large, wooden doors.

I have always liked this headstone. On the left it says, A.J. Davies. 65 years 1910. On the right it says Baby Edna 9 months 1886.

This is another old stone. There are many of them in this cemetery.

In his later years, Joseph Brant lived in Burlington, Ontario and when he passed, he was buried there. The guide at the Chapel today explained to visitors that when his son died, his body was exhumed and they were both laid to rest here at the Chapel.

Queen Elizabeth has visited the Chapel several times. It was officially given Royal designation by King Edward VII in 1904. Over the years, it has been renovated several times, the last being in 1983. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited the following year. The Chapel has never been allowed to fall into disrepair again.

The above photo shows Joseph Brant and his son John's tomb. They lay here together for eternity.

At one time the Chapel had eight stained glass windows. These were replaced between 1959 and 1962 with stained glass windows that each tell a story. The Chapel was open today but unfortunately photography is not allowed inside.

I hope you enjoyed strolling through the grounds of Her Majesty's Chapel of the Mohawks with me. It was shady and cool in the church yard and I met a couple from New York State who were here looking for the gentleman's roots. They were very friendly and interested in the many Native historical sites along the banks of the Grand River.


  1. Very interesting. And nice photography.

  2. That was very interesting, I just love old churches and cemeteries. My husband and I have visited many, of both, and have some amazing pictures. Thank you Mary for sharing this with us on such a hot day!

  3. I love to see old churches and cemeteries, so I found tis very interesting. What a lovely spot.

  4. I enjoy your blog so much. I learn something new every day. :)

  5. I do so love this post Mary. Such wonderful history...it's mind boggling that someone would actually 'steal' a church bell. Unbelievable. Y'know me ....I would have taken photos inside. LOL Of course, I'd be kicked out or locked up, but I'd have the photos. [I'm bad that way]

    The cemetery is awesome too. And the parish's grounds....lovely.

  6. I have to visit this Mary, I have seen it from the river when we did a Grand River cruise. Very interesting post.

  7. This is the kind of post I was referring to on my blog the other day when I gave you the "Honest Scrap" award! Lovely photos and a great lesson in history!

  8. Charming photos! Your talent for teaching is appreciated!
    Thank you!

  9. The first time Steve & I went to your area, we saw this little chapel and stopped to take a few pictures. What we didn't see was the tomb where Joseph Brant and his son are buried...we didn't walk around the chapel so I guess that's why we missed it. Now we definitely have to go back! lol I had gone to the Joseph Brant museum in Burlington a couple of years ago so had learned all about him. Loved all your pictures and I agree with you, it's a beautiful spot and very peaceful. xoxo

  10. I am so very happy you took us along with you. That is a beautiful Church and I love the history you shared. Peace

  11. This was so beautiful and very interesting...thanks..m.

  12. I regret that I have never visited this lovely historic church. I must put it on my "To Do" list for when I am next in Southern Ontario.

  13. I love to visit these old historical places too.Thanks for sharing some of the history behind this little church.
    What a sweet head stone for the baby that passed.

  14. I just stumbled upon your blog and have enjoyed looking at your pictures and words, which brought back lovely memories for me.
    Brantford, Ontario, was the first place I lived when I came to Canada in the 1970's and my husband and I enjoyed exploring the area, including the Mohawk Chapel.
    Years later, after I was widowed, my second husband proposed to me at the Mohawk Chapel.
    It us such a pretty place and I was actually there in 1983 when Her Majesty the Queen was there - what excitement!
    Thank you for bringing back such happy memories!

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