Near Toano, Virginia. Because of its complicated history, it’s hard to say when the church was “built.” Most of the current structure was built in 1774 as the north transept of a larger church from 1734; ten feet were added in 1825, when the main part of the church was demolished; and the vestibule looks newer than that. The immense walnut trees may be the ones recorded as planted in 1738.
Just outside Smithfield, the city of ham, is an ancient church, a remarkable example of Virginia colonial architecture. The date commonly given is 1632, which would make it by far the oldest standing church in the thirteen colonies; but many architectural historians dispute the date, putting it fifty years or so later. Even that is ancient by American standards.
With this church, H. H. Richardson established the “Richardsonian Romanesque” style, which reached its climax in the Allegheny County Courthouse. Taken in June of 2012.