Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

099-0010 Grace Church

Grace Church
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 06/02/1970

NRHP Listing Date 09/15/1970

NPS property number 70000832

Grace Church, originally known as York-Hampton Parish Church, was built ca. 1697. It is probably the state’s only remaining colonial structure built of marl, a locally quarried soft material composed largely of shell matter which hardens almost to stone when exposed to air. The building was used as a magazine by Lord Cornwallis during the Revolutionary War. It was accidentally burned in 1814 and stood as a ruin until rebuilt in 1848. Further damage was done in the Civil War when Union troops put a signal tower on the roof and used the interior for a hospital. The church was returned to service in 1870 and received a thorough renovation in 1926 when the belfry was added. In its churchyard is the magnificent 1745 English table tomb of Thomas Nelson, as well as the grave of his grandson Thomas Nelson, Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence.


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

Updated April 4, 2018