“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Briery in Charlotte County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Old Briery Church

Old Briery Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, March 5, 2011
1. Old Briery Church Marker
Inscription. Click to hear the inscription.  Just to the north stands Briery Church, organized in 1755 following the missionary work of Presbyterian minister Samuel Davies. The first church was built about 1760 and was replaced in 1824. The present Gothic Revival church was built about 1855 to designs of Robert Lewis Dabney.
Erected 1971 by Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission. (Marker Number F-75.)
Location. 37° 5.136′ N, 78° 28.506′ W. Marker is in Briery, Virginia, in Charlotte County. Marker is at the intersection of Farmville Highway (U.S. 15) and Cabbage Patch Road (County Route 654), on the right when traveling north on Farmville Highway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Keysville VA 23947, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Joseph Morton (here, next to this marker); Charlotte County / Prince Edward County
Old Briery Church and Joseph Morton Markers image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, March 5, 2011
2. Old Briery Church and Joseph Morton Markers
(approx. 1.6 miles away); Early Exploration (approx. 2 miles away); Keysville (approx. 3.2 miles away); Southside Virginia Community College (approx. 3.7 miles away); Campaign of 1781 (approx. 3.7 miles away); Meherrin Station (approx. 6.1 miles away); Greenfield (approx. 6.4 miles away).
More about this marker. This marker is currently on the Charlotte County side of the Charlotte County / Prince Edward County line. According to the National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form for Briery Church, the church is located just northwest of the marker location, at the northern end of County Route 747 in Prince Edward County at 37° 05′ 22" N, 78° 28′ 45" W.
Regarding Old Briery Church. The church is in Prince Edward County. To reach the church when traveling north on U.S. 15, turn left at this intersection and then take the next right on Route 747. The church is less
Briery Church 073-0038 image. Click for full size.
3. Briery Church 073-0038
National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form photograph.
than 3/10 of a mile from the intersection.
Also see . . .  1969 National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. “Briery Church is a one-story, board-and-batten-covered frame structure built on a T-shaped plan. Emphasizing the vertical lines of the church are the steep gable roof, with overhanging eaves, the three cross gables on the south front, and the simple finials on each gable end. All the openings are in the form of lancet arches, the windows having diamond panes and the four entrances on the west, south, and east fronts being sheltered by small gable canopy porches with barge boarding in the form of simple curving strips of wood. The building rests on a masonry foundation (probably brick) covered with stucco.

“On the interior, plain pews on either side of a central aisle face the pulpit from each of the three wings of the ‘ T.’ The long pine pulpit has lancet-arched recessed panels with a row of pendants hanging from the top. The pine ceiling begins at the eaves line and follows the interior pitch of the roof up for several feet before curving into a horizontal level which combines with the vertical pine uprights at the corners and the ‘ribs’ to create the effect of vaulting.

“Organized in 1755 following the missionary work of the ‘New Light’ evangelist Samuel Davies, the first church was erected about 1760, probably following the issuance of permission to worship by the Prince Edward County Court to the Briery congregation. The original meeting house was replaced in 1824, and the third and present Briery Church on the site was constructed circa 1855. This Gothic Revival church was designed by the noted theologian, Rev. Robert Lewis Dabney (1820-1898), a professor of theology at Union Theological Seminary, then a part of Hampden-Sydney College, and author of a biography of ‘Stonewall’ Jackson for whom Major Dabney had served as Chief of Staff in 1862. Dabney was also the architect for three other churches, Tinkling Spring Church in Augusta County, Farmville Presbyterian Church, and College Church at Hampden-Sydney, all of which are constructed of brick and are in the Greek Revival style, making Briery Church all the more unusual.

“Briery Church remains today as a symbol of the perseverance of Presbyterianism in Virginia and houses a congregation formed over two hundred years ago. It is significant as an architectural composition utilizing the vertical lines of the board and batten walls with the picturesque exaggeration of the roofline. Placed in its forest setting of tall pines, this small white structure expresses the essence of mid-19th Century romanticism.” (Submitted on March 10, 2011.) 
Categories. Churches & Religion
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 10, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 707 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 10, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Present-day photos of the church • Can you help?
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