Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Additional History



Above, St. Thomas's as it appears today.

The graceful architecture of Christ Church in Charlottesville (below, left), was long attributed to Thomas Jefferson.  However, church records reveal that it received its form as the result of a remodeling by a Jefferson-trained builder. The church, which stood at Court Square from 1824 to 1895, was undoubtedly the pattern for the changes made to St. Thomas’s in 1853.  The changes to St. Thomas's are reflected below in a sketch by parishioner/artist Barbara Collins (below, right).


Below, the Madison Silver ~ a silver paten and chalice made in London in 1766-67, engraved with the parish's name.  It was a gift to the church from Frances Taylor Madison, grandmother of President James Madison; Mrs. James Taylor; and "other good women" of the church.  It is still used on special occasions. 


The newspaper advertisement shown bleow appeared in the Fredericksburg Virginia Herald on September 12, 1832.  The appearance of the proposed church was described, and the signators called for a single contractor to do the work "in a workmanlike, masterly manner."  The surnames of the trustees listed on the advertisement resonate throughout the area's history:  Grymes, Chapman, Conway, Taylor, Ballard, Scott, and Page.