The South Church
Church Interior A noteworthy feature of the interior is the barrel-vaulted ceiling. It is hung from scissor-trusses in the attic, each fashioned from wood timbers 15” by 60 feet in dimension. The 6x19 foot arched windows each contain 87 panes of glass and are flanked by Corinthian plaster capitals on the inner walls.
Portsmouth Skyline with South Meeting House and Spire of North Church A gradual shift in Portsmouth’s population away from the south end of town resulted in a desire on the part of many in the congregation to establish a new meetinghouse to the north, closer to what had become the center of town. In 1714 a new church was erected on the site of the current North Church in Market Square.
Rev. Nathan Parker In 1819 the preaching of Rev. Nathan Parker, a convert to the liberal tenets of Unitarianism, cause an irreversible split in what had been, at least nominally, two Congregational parishes. For his heresy, Parker was called an “infidel” by the pastor of North Church. Several decades elapsed before the breech was mended, mainly through the efforts of the charismatic, non-judgmental Rev. Charles Burroughs.
Granite Quarry Granite was harvested from quarries dug on Cape Ann through the early twentieth century. The granite used to build the South Church could have been from a quarry like the one shown here in the photograph at right.
Universalist Church The teachings of the Universalists were first introduced in Portsmouth in 1777. Differing in only minor ways from those of the Unitarians, both were liberal creeds that rejected such Calvinistic beliefs as eternal damnation. Nevertheless, they maintained separate churches until
Funding for this historic marker was provided by the city of Portsmouth, 2015. www.cityofportsmouth.com
Erected 2015 by City of Portsmouth NH.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & Religion. In addition, it is included in the Unitarian Universalism (UUism) series list. A significant historical date for this entry is February 15, 1826.
Location. 43° 4.54′ N, 70° 45.454′ W. Marker is in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in Rockingham County. Marker is on State Street (U.S. 1), on the right. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 292 State Street, Portsmouth NH 03801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Joseph & Nancy (Cotton) and their children, Eleazor & James (within shouting distance of this marker); Treaty of Portsmouth 1905 (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Siras Bruce (about 400 feet away); Negro Pews (about 400 feet away); Site of "Negro Burying Ground" (about 400 feet away); African Burying Ground Memorial
Credits. This page was last revised on August 13, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 12, 2016, by James R. Murray of Elkton, Florida. This page has been viewed 228 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 12, 2016, by James R. Murray of Elkton, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.