This is the second installment on small historic churches in Northern Virginia. Our area gives residents and visitors alike the chance to find history around every corner. Most people can easily find the big attractions in both the history and tourist books but it is the little places that you don’t know about that can also be a fun stop on your exploration of the area.
This installment focuses on Pohick Church called by many historians as the “Mother Church of Northern Virginia.” When the Virginia General Assembly met in 1732 they established an area known as Truro Parish, and Pohick Church became the first Parish Church within the area. One of the first colonists to serve on the parish board was Augustine Washington the father of George Washington. As with other churches in the area the original church was small and as the area developed the church needed to be expanded on a grander scale.
In 1767 three famous Virginians, George Washington, George Mason and George William Fairfax supervised the construction of a new brick church on a hill which was the highest point in the area. The construction of the church was completed in 1774 just before the start of the Revolutionary War.
As with all of the churches at the end of the war the property which had been owned by the Church of England was turned over to the state. The congregation of the church changed after the war but the church survived and services continued.
As with so many historic churches in Northern Virginia the Civil War brought yet challenge and devastation to the property. The interior of the church was gutted with the pews being used for firewood and anything of value was stripped by soldiers. Fortunately the structure itself remained standing and in 1874 restoration of the interior began. The church now looks very similar to what it did when it was first built. The church houses a baptismal font that is believed to be from the twelfth century and is still used today.
The church is a beautiful place to visit and with four centuries of American History to its credit it you should put this on your must see list when as you explore Northern Virginia. The church is located at the corner of Colchester Road and Route 1 just east of Lorton, Virginia.
Information on other historic neighborhoods in Northern Virginia
©2007. All rights reserved. Cindy Jones
All original photos taken by Cindy Jones