Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

134-0025 Old Donation Church

Old Donation Church
Photo credit: Calder Loth/DHR, 2006

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 11/16/1971

NRHP Listing Date 04/13/1972

NRHP Reference Number 72001534

Built in 1736 by Peter Malbone, Old Donation Church is the third building to serve the colonial Lynnhaven Parish, created soon after 1640. It was first called Lynnhaven Parish Church but received its present name in the early 19th century in commemoration of a gift of land to the parish. Curiously placed windows on the side walls indicate that the church was outfitted during colonial times with private galleries, or “hanging pews,” high on the side walls. Old Donation suffered neglect during the first half of the 19th century and finally was gutted in 1882 in a forest fire. It stood as a roofless ruin until its restoration in 1916 and received parish church status once more in 1943. Although only its walls are original, Old Donation, in its wooded setting, is a reminder of the historic roots of the modern city of Virginia Beach.

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 21, 2021