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Bruton Parish Church, Williamsburg: 19 reviews and 33 photos
This present church is the third Anglican houses of worship on this site. It is an Episcopal church and has been in continuous use since 1715! It is named for Bruton, Somersetshire, in England, which was the home of the then-Governor William Berkeley.
These first churches stood near the center of Williamsburg's original survey map drawn 15 years later. It must have been important to the community life because it's in such an important location. The third church was made of stone/brick. It had a soaring ceiling, and many galleries were built beneath that ceiling. One gallery that the William and Mary students sat in still stands today.
Would you believe that the church served as a storehouse or hospital or maybe both during the Battle of Yorktown.
In 1840, the town clock was installed in the steeple. In the Battle of Williamsburg, the church served as a Union hospital for both Northern and Confederate soldiers.
When the famed Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin became the rector in the early 1900s, he took over the restoration, and he raised funds to restore the church to close to its original form. He undertook another restoration in 1937.
A brick wall was built in 1754 to surround the church, and there are many graves located in the churchyard. We had fun trying to read these old gravesites.
I was amazed to learn that Blacks in the parish also worshipped at Bruton Church! Of course, they sat apart in the north gallery and the back benches. More than 1,000 slaves (mostly infants) were baptized in Bruton Church.
This church is owned by and still serves the 3-centuries-old parish! The walls, windows, west gallery are all original. It is said that the baptismal font was brought from an earlier church at Jamestown. Admission to the church is by donation.
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