Sunday, March 18, 2007

Merchant's Hope

February 2007 Merchant's Hope, Hopewell, VA: N37.26563 W77.20213

Visited arguably the most pleasing church in Virginia, Merchant's Hope (Martin's Brandon Parish) circa 1725. On a pleasantly wooded site with aesthetically pleasing lines, this church represents the early eighteenth century ideal balance between form and function. Note the compass windows, the matching doors, and the graceful kicked eaves. The church is oriented, altar end toward the east entrance door toward the west, by law. The vestry door on the north wall is a study in simple elegance. The church itself is 60' x 25' in dimensions with 22 1/2 inch solid brick walls. The water table, lower rows of bricks on the foundation, are in English bond while the walls are in Flemish bond. The headers, or short bricks, in the walls are glazed blue-black. The inside is said to have been destroyed by Federal soldiers and was restored after the Civil War. Well worth a visit or two.

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