Building Survey

 

 

The following is the survey on file with the Prince George's County Historic Preservation Commission

for historic Christ Church, Accokeek.

 

P.G. #83-8 

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY HISTORIC SITE SUMMARY SHEET

Building Date: 1744, 1857 

Building Name: Christ Church at Accokeek 

Location: 600 W. Farmington Road, Accokeek Private/Church/Occupied/Good/Accessible 

 

Description

Christ Church at Accokeek is a high one-story, rectangular brick structure with a gable roof. There is a small entry vestibule on the south side, a low rectangular cupola surmounted by a cross at the west gable peak, and a gable roof sanctuary projecting from the east gable end. The church stands on a 12 acre parcel accompanied by a ca. 1970's brick school building and a ca. 1930's frame Rectory, at the intersection of Farmington and Bryan Point Roads. The west gable end, fronting on Farmington Road, has a centered tripartite window of diamond-paned glass with wooden muntins. The main block of Christ Church is laid in Flemish bond. The roof is slate covered. The ornate cornice has a wide wooden frieze with brackets supporting the overhanging ogee molded cornice. The west gable end is surmounted by a rectangular wooden cupola with a pyramidal cap. The five bay south facade has the main entry in a small gable roof wooden vestibule in the west bay. There are four high diamond-pane casement windows on the main block. Each has a round-arch head with a wide flat hood mold. The interior of Christ Church has a rectangular plan and contains primarily the large open nave and sanctuary. Flooring at the front and rear and in the center aisle is covered with hexagonal brick tiles. The roof trusses, painted or stained a dark brown are exposed. The Church is surrounded by a cemetery, the oldest grave dating to 1775. Cedar trees are scattered in the church yard. 

 

Significance

Christ Church at Accokeek is architecturally significant, displaying features from its two major periods of construction, 1744 and 1857. Its colonial main block, rectangular in plan, laid in Flemish bond, dates to 1744. Repairs and renovations in 1857 resulted in the addition of Italianate details such as a frame entry vestibule with a round-arch entry door, a bracketed cornice and hood molds over the round-arch windows. The building is historically significant for its long history in Accokeek and its place as one of the early Episcopal churches in Southern Maryland. It also is significant in that it exists in a setting that has remained relatively unchanged. The church stands surrounded by its cemetery, which contains scattered stands of mature cedars and deciduous trees. The earliest grave dates to 1775. A rectory has stood south of the church, in its present location, since 1841. 

Acreage: 12 acres 

 

Maryland Historical Trust 

State Historic Sites Inventory Form 

Magi No.

DOE -yes 

 

1. Name 

historic Christ Church, Accokeek 

 

2. Location 

600 W. Farmington Road

Accokeek, MD 20607

 

3. Classification 

Prince Georges County

4th Congressional District

 

4. Owner of Property

Vestry of Christ Church

600 W. Farmington Road 

Accokeek, MD 20607

(301) 292 5633

 

5. Location of Legal Description

Maryland Hall of Record

350 Rowe Boulevard

Annapolis, MD 21401

(800) 235-4045

 

6. Representation in Existing Historical Surveys 

Historic American Building Survey, 1936, Library of Congress, Washington DC

Historic Sites and Districts Plan, July 1981 

Historic Preservation Commission, Room 4010, Upper Marlboro, MD 

 

MARYLAND HISTORICAL TRUST STATE HISTORIC SITES INVENTORY FORM

 

The east gable end has a corbelled interior brick chimney rising from the north and south roof slopes. The main block is dominated by the projecting gable roof sanctuary which has two low flanking lean-to wings with entry doors. The sanctuary has a wide centered segmental-arch window surmounted by a lintel composed of an alternating pattern of two headers to one brick stretcher. The window is tripartite with a round-arch center panel divided into four sections by wooden muntins. It is flanked by two lower, narrower round-arch panels.

 

The sanctuary is laid in 7:1 common bond. The cornice is identical to that on the main block. The low side wings are slightly recessed from the east elevation. They are laid in the same brick bond as the sanctuary but have a simplified ogee cornice with no frieze or bracketing. The south wing contains the furnace for the church. The north wing contains a small kitchen.

 

The interior of Christ Church has a rectangular plan and contains primarily the large open nave and sanctuary. Flooring at the front and rear and in the center aisle is covered with hexagonal brick tiles. The flooring beneath the pews is of dark stained random width boards. The wall surface below the windows is covered with wide vertical board wainscoting. The wainscoting continues into the sanctuary. The upper walls are plaster covered.

 

The round-arch of the window heads is repeated by the round-arched opening into the sanctuary. Centered in the east wall is a tripartite stained glass casement window with diamond panes colored yellow, blue, green and red. The window surround is of dark wood, with a wide half-round molding and an inner and outer bead. Doors placed opposite each other in the north and south walls of the sanctuary lead to the small flanking wings containing a utility room on the south and a kitchen on the north. The doors are four-panel with a wood-filled round-arch transom.

 

The windows lining the north and south walls are double casement, glazed with diamond-pane clear glass. They are set into the brick walls at a depth of 18 inches.

 

Across the west (rear) of the room is a gallery, supported on two slender fluted metal pillars with capitals decorated with stylized Egyptian papyrus leaves. A spiral stair in the northwest corner of the room leads up to the gallery. The wooden stair rail, gallery rail and rail at the rear of the sanctuary all are variations of the same design, of dark wood with the motif of repeating round-arches.

A multi-course wood cornice lines the ceiling along the north and south walls. The roof trusses. painted or stained a dark brown are exposed. The trusses cross at their intersection. which has an open-work design of a quatrefoil. The· trusses are supported by large brackets where they intersect the north and south walls. Each bracket is defined by a sharply pointed turned spike which points inward. toward the opposite wall. This roof treatment continues in the sanctuary.

 

7. Description 

 

Christ Church at Accokeek is a high one-story, rectangular brick structure with a gable roof. There is a small entry vestibule on the south side, a low rectangular cupola surmounted by a cross at the west gable peak, and a gable roof sanctuary projecting from the east gable end. Th~ church stands on a 12 acre parcel accompanied by a ca. 1970s brick school building and a ca. 1930s frame Rectory, at the intersection of Farmington and Bryan Point Roads. 

 

The west gable end, fronting on Farmington Road, has a centered tripartite window of diamond-paned glass with wooden muntins. The largest, central window is a double casement. All three windows have round-arch heads and wide flat board surrounds with wooden sills.

 

Centered above the windows is a rectangular stone placque which reads IIBuilt 1696, Burned 1856, Christ Church, Rebuilt 1857, Consecrated 1857, this tablet erected by the ladies, July 1871.11Centered above the tablet is a circular leaded, stained glass window with a wide plain wood surround.

 

The main block of Christ Church is laid in Flemish bond. The mortar is an aggregate of sand mixed with pebbles and shells. There is a projecting water table. The roof is slate covered. The ornate cornice has a wide wooden frieze with brackets supporting the overhanging ogee molded cornice. 

 

The west gable end is surmounted by a rectangular wooden cupola with a pyramidal cap. The cupola is sided with flush vertical boards and has a round-arch louvered opening in each face. It is surmounted by a gilded cross. 

 

The five bay south facade has the main entry in a small gable roof wooden vestibule in the west bay. The vestibule is set on a brick base and the entry is reached by one brick step. The vestibule is sided with flush horizontal siding with corner boards. The cornice is similar to that on the main block. The double entrance doors have three panels each, defined by raised half-round moldings. The central panel is oval with a rectangular lower panel and a triangular upper panel fitting into the round-arch door head. There are four high diamond-pane casement windows on the main block. Each has a round-arch head with a wide flat hood mold which ends in a small multi-course molding at the arch springing. There is a row of tiny headers between the window and the hood mold. There is a wooden window sill. The five-bay north facade is identical to the south facade with the exception that there are five windows and no entry vestibule.

 

Centered in the upper gable, in the west end of the room is a round stained leaded glass commemorative window. It depicts a dove at the center and an inscription at the bottom reads, In memory of Rev. and Mrs. Charles J. Curtis.

 

The Church is surrounded by a cemetery containing approximately 303 graves, the oldest grave dating to 1775. Mature cedar and deciduous trees are scattered in the church yard. A brick walk leads around the building. To the east (rear) is one-story brick school and office, constructed in several stages dating to 1961, 1970 and 1977. An asphalt drive runs along the north side of the church yard and .forms a parking lot on the north side of the school building. A brick wall along the west side of the church yard separates it from another parking area abutting Farmington Road. South of the church is a two-story frame rectory dating to the 1930s. 

 

8. Significance 

 

Christ Church at Accokeek is architecturally significant, displaying features from its two major periods of construction, 1744 and 1857. Its colonial main block, rectangular in plan, laid in Flemish bond, dates to 1744. Repairs and renovations in 1857 resulted in the addition of Italianate details such as a frame entry vestibule with a round-arch entry door, a bracketed cornice and hood molds over the round-arch windows. The building is historically significant for its long history in Accokeek and its place as one of the early Episcopal churches in Southern Maryland. 

 

In 1692 the General Assembly of Maryland instituted the Church of England as the established church and divided the colony into 30 parishes. King George's Parish (originally called Piscataway Parish, for the indigenous peoples in the area) was established at that time. Centered at Broad Creek, the Parish was bounded by the Potomac River on the west and stretched north to Pennsylvania.1 

Christ Church at Accokeek was established in 1698 as a Chapel of Ease for King George’s Parish. There was apparently enough population in Accokeek to warrant construction of a church closer than St. John’s at Broad Creek. 

 

By 1744, according to court records, the original frame church had lent to Decay and the Vestry petitioned for an Act of Assembly to fund the building of a brick chapel. The Vestry was empowered to raise funds and purchased three acres out of a tract called Calverton Manor. Building began in 1747 and the church was opened in January 1748.3 

 

Christ Church became a separate Parish church in 1823. On December 23, 1856 the brick chapel burned, leaving only the exterior brick shell. According to the Planter’s Advocate, $2500 for reconstruction was raised within two months. Proposed renovations included, first pointed for round headed windows. A chancel and porch, or little tower. An open roof is to crown the whole. The reconstructed chapel was dedicated on June 18, 1857.

 

Present architectural features of the church which probably date to the 1857 reconstruction include the exposed beam structure of the roof, the apse, exterior cornice detail ,and the south entry vestibule. The original entry in the west gable end was replaced by the present tripartite window. The windows were left in a round-arch form but were surmounted by Italianate hood moldlngs. A belfry may have been added at that time. A bell was donated by Reverend Theophiles Smoot, who served 1890-99, indicating that a belfry was in place by the 1890's. The belfry now on the building differs from the one recorded in the 1936 HABS photograph of Christ Church, and must be of more recent date. 

 

The original rectory was constructed in 1841. It burned in 1932; destroying Parish records dating from 1823 through the fire. The present rectory was built the following year. 

 

The church was again renovated in 1968. A center aisle replaced the two side aisles in the nave. The hexagonal brick flooring was installed, duplicating early flooring material found during the renovation.

 

Christ Church- has an active congregation and established a school on the grounds in 1961. It stands as a landmark at the crossroads of" Farmington and Bryan Point Roads. 

 

Notes

“A Guide to Historic Episcopal Churches of Southern Maryland, 1634-1984”, Printed to commemorate the 350th anniversary of Maryland's settlement, compiled by a voluntary committee, funded by a grant from the Diocese of Washington. For information contact Fred T. Bishop, Box 117, Valley Lee, Maryland 20692. Pg. 21 

Ibid. Pg. 24 

Prince George's County Court Records, 00:159,160; GG 211, 212. Archives of Maryland, XLII:635; XLVI:144-146 

Planters· Advocate, 15 February, 1857, 10 June, 1857. 

A Child·s History of Accokeek, Maryland, Jennie Clagett, presented 18 March 1971, Founder's Night. Pg. 3 

Conversation with Reverend Johnson, April 1988. 

 

10. Geographical Data 

 

Acreage: 12.15 acres

Quadrangle name: Mt. Vernon

 

11. Form Prepared By

Marina King, Architectural Historian

Susan Pearl, Research Historian

with the organization of Historic Preservation Commission

14740 Governor Oden Bowie Drive 

Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

(301) 952-4690

June 1988

 

The Maryland Historic Sites Inventory was officially created by an Act of the Maryland Legislature to be found in the Annotated Code of Maryland, Article 41, Section 181 KA, 1974 supplement. 

The survey and inventory are being prepared for information and record purposes only and do not constitute any infringement of individual property rights. 

 

Maryland Historical Trust Shaw House 

21 State Circle Annapolis, Maryland 21401 (301) 269-2438 

© Christ Church, St. John's Parish, Accokeek, MD

Proudly created with Wix.com

  • Twitter Classic
  • c-facebook
This site was designed with the
.com
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now