Vauters Episcopal Church

Vauters Episcopal Church, 3661 Tidewater Trail, Loretto, Virginia

Vauters Episcopal Church, 3661 Tidewater Trail, Loretto, Virginia

– Click on the image to enlarge or purchase –

Vauters Episcopal Church

Vauters Episcopal Church is located outside of Loretto in Essex County on the Middle Peninsula of Virginia.  It was constructed in 1719.  It is said to be one of the best examples of a colonial church in the country having been renovated in 1969 to as close as possible to the original.  The church is surrounded by a cemetery including two colonial era gravestones, one dated 1761 and the other 1764.

When Essex County was formed in 1692 from the division of Rappahannock County, Sittingbourne Parish became part of the new county.  In 1704, the parish was divided creating St Annes Parish.  Vauters Church is the second Upper Church of St Annes Parish.  The first church was built around 1710.  The name Vauters is believed to be derived from the name of the family that owned the adjoining land when the church was built.

The church as we see it today was built in two stages.  The original rectangular structure was built in 1719.  A southern wing was added in 1731 to form the T-shape we see today.

Like many episcopal churches of the time, Vauters Church was abandoned following the Disestablishment of Religion in Virginia after the Revolutionary War.  The building, though, did not suffer as badly as many others because the Garnett family of nearby Elmwood Plantation claimed the land on which the church stood.  This allowed them to protect the building from vandals. Regular services resumed around 1822 with the interior being renovated in 1827.  Vauters Episcopal Church apparently also escaped physical damage during the war of 1812 and the Civil War.

Vauters Episcopal Church, 3661 Tidewater Trail, Loretto, Virginia

Vauters Episcopal Church, 3661 Tidewater Trail, Loretto, Virginia

– Click on the image to enlarge or purchase –

The church retains a large proportion of its original fabric including the doors, trim and interior fittings.  The flagstones of the nave are possibly original.  A new concrete shingle roof resembling the original wooden shingles was added during the renovation.  It is believed some of the original roof trusses remain, although these have ben supplemented with new beams to support the increased weight of the new roof.

Vauters Episcopal Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in December 1972.

Colonial Churches of Virginia by Don W. and Sue Massey is one of the best resources covering all the colonial churches still in existence in Virginia.  It has information on over 50 churches from 1632 to 1791, most of which are still in use for weekly services.  The information in this book is the main source for this post along with the entry in the National Register of Historic Places.

Summary
Vauters Episcopal Church
Article Name
Vauters Episcopal Church
Description
Vauters Episcopal Church is located outside of Loretto in Essex County on the Middle Peninsula of Virginia.  It was constructed in 1719.  It is said to be one of the best examples of a colonial church in the country having been renovated in in 1969 to as close as possible to the original.
Author
Publisher Name
Mark Summerfield
Publisher Logo

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.