The origin of the United Church at Headford goes back to 1850, when Leek's Chapel, a frame Methodist Episcopal Church, was constructed on a 1/2 acre parcel of the Ritter farm, Lot 18, Concession 2, Markham Township. At the time, the congregation was part of the Markham circuit, formed in 1847, consisting of Leek's, Sparta and Forsyth's. In the 1850's, a burying ground was established in association with the church.
By 1882, the congregation had outgrown the original building, and the present brick church was built on the same site to replace it. When the Wesleyan, Primitive and Episcopalian Methodists united in 1884, Headford became a part of the Richmond Hill circuit. With the union of the Methodists, Presbyterians and Congregationalists in 1925, Headford became a member of the United Church of Canada.
The simple design of the church follows the Classical architectural
tradition of symmetry, with a rectangular plan, a tower incorporating the main
entrance centred on the east gable end, and a balanced arrangement of window
openings. To the basic Classical form, the designer added elements of the Early
Gothic Revival, including lancet windows with wooden sash, a rose window,
buttresses, and a steep gable roof. The use of patterned brick, including white
brick accents on a background of red brick, is characteristic of mid to late
19th century ecclesiastical architecture, echoing the richly decorated wall
surfaces promoted by English philospher and architectural theorist John
The ornate wrought iron hinges on the double-leaf front doors, are
also significant features, as are the marble plaque upon which the original
denomination of the church and its date of construction are inscribed, the
louvered openings in the towwer, the bracketed eaves of the tower's roof, and
the balustrade that surmounts the tower. Also significant are the
segmentally-headed basement windows and the small wing housing the exterior
entrance to the basement.
Significant features of the cemetery include marble and granite headstones marking the resting places of many of the families who settled in the Headford community, including the graves of founding members of the congregation. The earliest burials date back to the 1850's.
To browse through the cemetery, click here.