Monday, March 26, 2012

Ware Church

Last week on my way home from neighboring Gloucester County, I stopped to check on Ware Episcopal Church, which I pass approximately 42 8-10 times per week.

Ware Church is one of those places where I could loiter linger for hours on end just absorbing the sights, the smells, and the Something Else.

The Something Else is a feeling I can't really explain. It's as if I have to slow down and absorb all of the energy of the past, all the people who have passed through here. The history. The place is thick with it.

(I'm truly not a weirdo; I just play one on the internet.)

From the church's website:

"In the first days of this parish, almost 350 years ago, people gathered not here, but on Ware Neck.  In 1680, while The Rev'd James Clack was Rector, the Colonial Court and Council in Williamsburg granted permission to construct a new church on the higher ground of the present site.The building was built between 1690 and 1723. The early church records recording such information were lost during the War Between the States in the burning of Richmond.

The solid brick rectangular building, laid in Flemish bond, was built by local craftsmen and artisans from England.  It is the only rectangular colonial church in Virginia with both North and South doors.  The classic pediment doors are the earliest of their kind.  The walls of the church are three feet thick and the foundations five feet thick.  The whole structure is imposing yet elegant in its simplicity.  Its architecture is based on the use of squares, golden rectangles, a pyramid triangle and a circle."

For a 2008 post I wrote on Ware, click here.

Happy Monday.


Annie said...

A very interesting church, cbw. I think I'd like to spend some time there too.
I am not sure that we saw those famous classic pediment north and south doors though?

Anonymous said...

I have never seen Flemish bond...that church is a master work. May it stand at least another century or two.
I quite understand the Something Else vibes..I wandered around my grandparents' wooded acre as a very young preschooler... I never felt that I was alone in those woods. Not as atmospheric a setting as a churchyard,(but the land I wandered had probably not been "owned" by very many white families since their ancestors arrived on the continent..I felt a more indigenous presence). Have a good week coming up...LLC

Jamie said...

I love the old churches down there. I've never visited this one, but the Abingdon (I think) church in Gloucester I have (because it's haunted). The graves from Rosewell Mansion were moved there too. I love Rosewell. But I'm so stinking happy today I love just about everything.

abb said...

I love old churches - great captures!

growing wild on waverly lane said...

I know that place well. Somewhere I heard that some of the bricks were actually brought here from England. Imagine that. The tombstones are ancient and have familiar names.

That church was home to the upper class among our first settlers. The rest of them became Baptists. (Just kidding)

Miss Susie and Mr. Randolph (from one of my stories) rest there. As does Dr. Tabb, whose family rest there.

Rodney said...

went there when we were there, it does draw you in....

fighting mermaid said...

Beautiful. Do you stop for water there? There is a great well there and loads of people stop to fill up.

Dghawk said...

I wonder what it is that draws us to old churches and old buildings for that matter. I know for me, I always wonder about the people that attended the services and programs, as well as their history and stories.

Really strange, I never gave a hoot for history all during school, but since I've lived in Virginia I love it. Maybe because I can see where things actually happened.

Beautiful pictures, as always.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Annie-There are three sets of doors I know of. The one shown here has another set on the opposite side. The main doors are on the side of the building not shown here. That doesn't answer your question, I realize. Perhaps the north/south doors have been modified over time. Next time I'll see if I can figure it out.

LLC-It's comforting to know someone gets the Something Else without further explanation.

DJ-Abingdon is very similar and no doubt is the one you visited. There are a few stories of haunted homes near there on that side of 17. I had no idea Rosewell graves were moved there!

TSA-They are beautiful, the old churches.

WOW-Susie as in Proctor? (She lived close by.) The tombstones are indeed very old, many of them, and are fascinating to study. You lived just up the way from here so I'm sure you have more stories...hint hint.

Rodney - Glad you were able to see it. When are you coming back?

Fighting Mermaid - As a matter of fact, my parents introduced me to the whole Ware Water thing. Although I don't currently get water from there, I need to. Drinking from my spigot at home is not an option unless I want to turn green and sprout a third arm. (Our well water is lethal.)

DGhawk - Very well put, I agree.

Thanks for commenting!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Annie-Wait, no, I think the north/south doors are pictured here, but they may not jump out as being special. (Also I said "sets" of doors, and it's one door on one side; one door on the other both are seen here in different shots). The primary doors, not seen here, are a pair, but I think they're talking about the single doors shown on either side of the building.