Christ Church – Lancaster County

Address: 420 Christ Church Road, PO Box 24
City: Irvington
State: VA
Zip: 22480
Phone: 804-438-6855

Robert ‘King’ Carter was a well known political figure in Virginia history whose father, John Carter, had built a wooden church on this same site in 1669. When the congregation outgrew the older church, a new brick church was proposed and Carter offered to bear the entire cost of building it if it were constructed on the 1669 site, thus protecting the family graves. Christ Church was completed circa 1735 and is considered one of America’s handsomest churches. At the time of the Revolution, with the disestablishment of the Anglican Church, the property became part of Robert Carter’s private estate instead of being confiscated and sold to the new government. Christ Church today, without heat or light, is used only during summer months and on special occasions. The Garden Club of Virginia completed its restoration of the grounds in 1968. Maintaining unobstructed views of the colonial church was the most important consideration. Within the churchyard walls, a single Red Oak was planted along with a few vines on the restored wall. Brick walks were laid from the church doors to the gates in the churchyard walls. Outside the churchyard walls, part of Carter’s avenue of ‘goodly cedars’ was reestablished. According to legend, this avenue once extended three miles from Robert Carter’s plantation on the Corotoman River to the western entrance of the church.

Year: 1968
Landscape Architect: Ralph E. Griswold