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Stafford in Stafford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Aquia Church
 
Aquia Church Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin White, August 24, 2007
1. Aquia Church Marker
 
Inscription. Here is Aquia Church, the church of Overwharton Parish, formed before 1680 by the division of Potomac Parish. It was built in 1757, on the site of an earlier church, in the rectorship of Reverend John Moncure, who was the parish minister from 1738 to 1764. The Communion Silver was given the parish in 1739 and was buried in three successive wars, 1776, 1812, and 1861.
 
Erected 1932 by Conservation & Development Commission. (Marker Number E-90.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
 
Location. 38° 27.898′ N, 77° 24.299′ W. Marker is in Stafford, Virginia, in Stafford County. Marker is at the intersection of Jefferson Davis Highway (U.S. 1) and Garrisonville Road (County Route 610), on the right when traveling north on Jefferson Davis Highway. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2938 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Stafford, VA 22554, Stafford VA 22554, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fleurries (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Historic Aquia Creek (approx. 0.8 miles away); Peyton’s Ordinary (approx. 0.9 miles away); First Roman Catholic Settlement in Virginia (approx. one mile away); In the Name of Christ the King (approx. one mile away); Mary Kittamaquund (approx. one mile away); Austin Run Pyrite Mine (approx. 1.2 miles away); Government Island (approx. 1.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Stafford.
 
Brickwork at Aquia Church exit. Marker is to the left. Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin White, August 24, 2007
2. Brickwork at Aquia Church exit. Marker is to the left.
Closeup pictures of the markers seen on the brickwork are below.
 

 
Regarding Aquia Church. Aquia Church is located off I-95’s Exit 143 at 2938 Jefferson Davis Highway in Stafford, Virginia. It is considered one of the most significant colonial churches in America.

The first church erected on this property was built in 1667. The exterior of the current church was commissioned in 1751. Its interior burnt in 1755 immediately prior to its completion, and was rebuilt by 1757. Much of the interior of today’s church is original, including its most unique features, a rare “three-tiered pulpit” with an intricate sounding board, its architectural altarpiece and its elaborate gallery. They are all original, well preserved, and still in use to this day. The church is still serving the Overwharton Parish. Behind the church is Aquia Cemetery, still in use today, and with tombstones dating back centuries.

This magnificent church is in the form of a Greek cross with a hipped roof and a tower on the west face. It's interior is brightened by two tiers of windows. There are 37 windows, rectangular on the first story, arched on the second, with a matching arched window in the tower. The walls are 24 inches thick, with two courses of bricks. The exterior corner quoins (carved stones where the walls meet), window keystones, and elaborate doorways are accented with sandstone from the nearby
 
Aquia Church Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin White, August 24, 2007
3. Aquia Church
 
Aquia Creek sandstone quarries.

The interior of the church contains some of the finest Colonial woodworking to have survived to the 21st century. The plasterwork is original, as are the wainscoting, vestry tablet, and west gallery. The tall, three-level pulpit is one of the few surviving examples in America. The spaciousness and brilliance of its pure white two-story interior is impressive.

Nearby Aquia Landing was a strategic depot for Federal troops during the Civil War. During the War, the church was used by both the Confederate and Union Armies as the tide of war would change. Union regiments camping at Aquia Church used the building as a stable and hospital, as well as a church. The horses stabled there nibbled on the pews, necessitating they be trimmed down to a lower height following the War. The names of some of the occupiers and their regiments are carved in the sandstone trim of the building and written on the interior walls of the tower.

Aquia Church still has its original silver communion service, which is used on special occasions. The silver survived the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. During each of these wars, parishioners buried the silver as hostile forces neared, and retrieved it after all danger had passed.

Located on the Church grounds is Fleurries, the former home of a prominent Stafford County resident,
 
The celebrated three-tier pulpit of Aquia Episcopal Church. Photo, Click for full size
By Edwin Ridout, May 17, 2008
4. The celebrated three-tier pulpit of Aquia Episcopal Church.
 
Anne E. Moncure. In 1987, a preserved and restored section of the home was moved to the grounds of Aquia Church to preserve it from encroaching development. The small, four-room cottage-style home is used by the church as its rectory. Please see "Other nearby markers" for a marker about Fleurries.
 
Also see . . .
1. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. The completed National Register of Historic Places form nominating Aquia Church. (Submitted on August 24, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.) 

2. Aquia Church: A Survivor. Article from The Free-Lance Star about the church, published 3/31/2001 (Submitted on August 24, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.) 
 
Aquia Church from Space Photo, Click for full size
Courtesy Google Maps, circa 2007
5. Aquia Church from Space
Google Map Satelite view of Aquia Church, showing the unique Greek Cross design.
 
 
Aquia Church is a National Historic Landmark Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin White, August 24, 2007
6. Aquia Church is a National Historic Landmark
 
 
Plaque on Brickwork at Church Exit - Southside Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin White, August 24, 2007
7. Plaque on Brickwork at Church Exit - Southside
In Memory of the Confederate Soldiers of Stafford County, 1861-1865
Love Makes Memory Eternal

Erected by the Stafford Rangers Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, A.D. 1933
- To the memory of Miss Eva E. Bell. This tribute placed by the Stafford Rangers Chapter, U.D.C., of which she was founder.
 
 
Plaque on Brickwork at Church Exit - Northside Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin White, September 9, 2007
8. Plaque on Brickwork at Church Exit - Northside
In Memory of the World War Soldiers of Stafford County 1917–1918

For World Peace

Erected by the Stafford Rangers Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, A.D. 1933
 
 
Sign in front of Aquia Church listing important dates in the church's history. Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin White, August 24, 2007
9. Sign in front of Aquia Church listing important dates in the church's history.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on August 24, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,652 times since then. Last updated on May 7, 2008, by Edwin Ridout of Stafford, Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 24, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   4. submitted on May 18, 2008, by Edwin Ridout of Stafford, Virginia.   5, 6. submitted on August 24, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   7. submitted on August 29, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   8. submitted on September 9, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   9. submitted on August 28, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.
 
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