Photo credit: Michael H. Day , 10/1988

Property Name: All Hallows Episcopal Church
Date Listed: 8/6/1979
Inventory No.: WO-9
Location: 101, North Church Street, Snow Hill, Worcester County

Description: All Hallows Episcopal Church is a gable-roofed rectangular frame building built during the mid 18th century. Three bays wide on the west (front) facade and five bays in length, All Hallows was designed and built in the most elaborate masonry traditions known on the Eastern Shore for the period. The church displays carefully laid Flemish bond walls and rubbed brick arches. Rare molded brick keystones accent the round arches over the window and door openings. Highlighting the eaves are wooden cove cornices that were most likely executed in plaster at first. Principal entrances were located on the north, south, and west sides, while the adjacent windows were filled with triple-hung 16-pane windows. In 1899, the old triple-hung clear glass windows were replaced with colored glass, and the doors on the side elevations were changed to windows. Reinforcing the southwestern corner are two brick buttresses, one to the front (west) and the other on the side. A hexagonal cupola at the western end. The cupola was removed in 1891 when a slate roof was installed. At that time, the bell, a gift of Queen Anne, was hung next to the church. Initially there were high, step-up box pews, brick aisles and a gallery for slaves around three sides of the sanctuary. The Bible, published in London in 1701, and the linen and lace Euchasistic Veil were given by Queen Anne. The ornate brass pulpit and lectern dates from after and the marble font near the entrance from 1877. Significant alterations have been made to the original structure. In 1872, the box pews and side galleries were removed and the brick floors covered with wood. The gallery now extends across the rear of the church. A few of the 1872 pews were moved to the rear of the church when they were replaced in the 1960's. There was more extensive work in 1891 when the chancel with its carved marble altar and reredos was built. The pulpit, originally placed in the northeast corner, was moved to the east end. The altar was flanked by large windows similar to the others before the chancel was added and the stained glass window installed over it. At this time, the brick interior walls were plastered and the side entrances were closed and replaced by windows. In addition, a painted, stretched canvas ceiling was placed over earlier tongue-and-groove boards which covered earlier exposed beams that had been damaged by a fire. The clear glass windows were replaced with stained glass in 1899. When the brick retaining wall along the two-street sides was built in 1938, the 1862 wrought iron fence was moved outward to enclose the extended church yard. Attached to the rear of the church is the Parish House additionbuilt in 1956.

Significance: All Hallows is a good example of 18th century vernacular church architecture. Even though additions and alterations have been made, the building retains its original form and is a significant part of Snow Hill. In 1748, an Act of the Colonial Assembly appropriated money for building the church by means of a levy of tobacco on taxable inhabitants. The building was completed after an additional levy in 1756 under Reverend John Rosse who was rector from 1754 to 1775.




close