Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

032-0030 Bremo Slave Chapel

Bremo Slave Chapel
Photo credit: Calder Loth/DHR, 2003

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 12/18/1979

NRHP Listing Date 03/17/1980

NRHP Reference Number 80004189

This simple Gothic Revival structure was constructed in 1835 as a chapel for the African Americans at Bremo, the Fluvanna County plantation of John Hartwell Cocke. It is the state’s only known slave chapel and represents Cocke’s deep concern for the religious and moral edification of slaves. He had his slaves taught to read and decided that it was his Christian duty to provide them with religious instruction. Cocke was determined that his slaves should have their own house of worship and thus had the board-and-batten structure built on what became know as Chapel Field. Cocke and his wife Louisa frequently conducted services themselves. The Bremo Slave Chapel fell into disuse after the Civil War. In 1884 it was moved to the village of Bremo Bluff to serve the local Episcopal parish. It remained a church until 1924 when converted to a parish hall for the present Grace Episcopal Church.

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: December 20, 2021