Bruton Parish Church

This photograph was taken in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia and is of the historic Bruton Parish Church, the first Anglican Church in the new world and built in 1660. Used a Linhof 612PC camera and 120 Fuji transparency film. Scanned with a Nikon Coolscan 9000 and converted to sepia tone with Adobe Lightroom. Winter is one of the few times you can get a clear view of the church to photograph it because the leaves on the trees block your view for most of the year.

Here are some interesting facts about the church…

  • First Anglican church built in 1660
  • First rector Reverend Rowland Jones
  • Named for Bruton, Somersetshire, England
  • Many patriots belonged to Bruton Parish
  • Used as hospital during two wars
  • Rev. W.A. R. Goodwin led 20th-century restoration
  • Church still owned by and serves its three-centuries-old parish 

Among the men of the Revolution who attended Bruton Parish Church were Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Richard Henry Lee, George Wythe, Patrick Henry, and George Mason. But the building’s history, and that of its churchyard, goes back further in time.

In 1781, the church served as a storehouse or hospital, perhaps both, during the Battle of Yorktown. For a week after the May 5, 1862, Battle of Williamsburg, the church served as a Union hospital for Northern and Confederate soldiers.
Photo © Craig Brewer
Photo © Craig Brewer

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