Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

042-0012 Fork Church

Fork Church
Photo credit: Mark Mones, ca 2012

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 12/02/1969

NRHP Listing Date 02/26/1970

NRHP Reference Number 70000801

Fork Church, in Hanover County, was erected ca. 1737 as the second Lower Church of St. Martin’s Parish. Fork Church derives its name from its location between the North and South Anna Rivers, near where they join to form the Pamunkey River. Typical of Virginia’s rectangular colonial churches, Fork Episcopal Church has a front and side entrance, no transepts, and a simple gable roof. Like many churches built in the first half of the 18th century, the walls are laid in Flemish bond with glazed headers. The segmental-arched windows are also characteristic of the early 18th century. Fork Church is one of Virginia’s few colonial churches not to have been vandalized by Northern troops during the Civil War. It thus retains many early fittings, including its rear gallery, portions of the original pews, and an early communion table. Also surviving is an 1834 pipe organ. Patrick Henry, Dolley Madison, and Thomas Nelson Page were all regular worshipers here.  The rector for 1893-1903 was Reverend Sewell S. Hepburn, the grandfather of actress Katherine Hepburn.

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: May 10, 2021