St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Cemetery is part of the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex in the City of Alexandria. The cemetery complex was established early in the 19th century, after burials within the limits of Alexandria were prohibited out of concerns about public health. St. Paul’s Cemetery was founded in 1809, and today occupies 2.8 acres. The cemetery’s most significant design feature is its assortment of 19th and early 20th century grave markers of varying type, material, age, and ornamentation, and the artistry displayed by many of the hand-cut markers. Marker styles range from simple tablets to elaborately-carved obelisks and sculptures, featuring pictorial symbols and other decorative elements. Features often found at other cemeteries that were established during the 19th century are at St. Paul’s, with some family plots enclosed with low iron pipe fencing, stone coping, and wrought-iron fences. Defined walkways once allowed visitors to wend through the cemetery; these were a popular feature during the 19th century when cemeteries often doubled as parks where people could visit graves, enjoy the peaceful setting, and perhaps have a picnic. The walkways through St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Cemetery gave way during the early 20th century to create space for additional burial plots.
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