Monday, November 26, 2007

Aquia Church







39 27' x 77 24': This church is located just off Route 95 and US Route 1 in Stafford Virginia. It is one of the easiest churches to find as the interstate exit, accessible from north or south, is labelled Aquia Harbor. The church is immediately north-east of the first light off the exit from 95.

This is truly a splendid building. According to Rawlings (184ff), the brickwork dates from 1751 to 1757 and was destroyed by Union soldiers during the Civil War. The walls as well as the interior have been rebuilt to the pre-Revolutionary War state sometime around 1915-16. Large patches of the walls are obviously rebuilt, in some cases carelessly even to my non-architect's eye. Apparently there was a coat of yellow paint on the building as recently as 1933.

Aquia is a true cruciform church with the walls 64' both east-west and north-south. Each arm is approximately 16' 2 1/2" long with a width of 32' 4". The walls are 24 1.2 " thick. Unlike Abingdon or Lancaster Churches, while in the interior, one can clearly see the cruciform structure, probably due to its Greek Cross construction. Like few colonial edifices, it has two levels of windows with the lower ones being rectangular with a keystone and angled soldiers and the upper being of typical compass construction. The front, west facade is two stories with a tower with a complicated cornice (See Rawlings 190).

It is surrounded by an attractive churchyard with many curious graves of colonial and modern origin.

In a later posting, I will describe the interior and many lurid stories surrounding the church.

This is a must visit.

8 comments:

wwwebster@nexet.net said...

Hello,

Very interesting blog and the photos are awesome! I just visited St. John Church in King William today and what a beaty it is! Your blog is a terrific visual and descriptive resource for the traveler with the time to stop and learn a bit about such an important part of american history.

Your byline suggest that there are ONLY 48 colonial churches in Virginia. Surely the actual number is at least twice that. Are you making some qualification that results in such a low number?

Kallicrates said...

Thanks for the positive feedback. Hope you enjoyed the trip to that church. It is a remarkably restored edifice.

In answer to your question, I use Rawling's (1963) number as he cites 48 of approximately 200 buildings; he cites only buildings with some claim to relatively unaltered or historically significant structures still standing. Dell Upton (1996) includes only 38 buildings in his survey. An example of an excluded building is Trinity Church in Portsmouth, Virginia that has only a questionable portion of one standing wall claimed to be of colonial origin. Their books are cited in my descriptions and are available in most public libraries.

D king

Web Houlgrave said...

I have the honor of attending Providence Presbyterian Church (c1747) in Gum Spring, VA. Providence is said to be the only remaining non-anglican, frame church left in the State from the colonial period. Hope you have a chance to visit us during your travels.

Kallicrates said...

I may be able to visit Providence Church next week. It is definitely on my list.

Kallicrates

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.