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My WV trip
Item 10 of 29

SE corner of Church and High Sts. The “Old English Church” began as a log cabin in 1745. A stone structure called the Mecklenburg Chapel replaced the original building in 1769. Though it has gone through several renovations, the basic structure of 1769 still remains. It is among the earliest surviving church buildings west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.


  • Old Trinity Church

Trinity Episcopal Church was the first English Church (Anglican) in Shepherdstown, predating the incorporation of the town. The first church building was built in 1745 as a part of the Fredrick Parish in Winchester, Virginia. The building was a wooden structure, known as the “Old English Church.”[1] Another more permanent structure was built out of stone on the corner of High Street and Church Street in 1769. The building was known as “Mecklenburg Chapel,” “the building fell into disrepair because of neglect due to the disestablishment of the Anglican Church in Virginia. In 1815, the church building was renovated by the first vestry of the newly Saint Andrews Parish. In 1840 – 1842, the building was expanded, By the early 1800s it was known as Trinity Church.[2] In 1854, the church decided to build a new building on German Street because the 1842 renovations were now too small.
The town’s founder, Thomas Shepherd, willed the lot upon which the structure stands to the church parish in 1776. After the Revolution, the building fell into neglect with the disestablishment of Anglicanism in Virginia. In about 1815, the church was rebuilt. The first use of the name Trinity Church appears in the records in 1836. A clock given by Rezin D. Shepherd remained in the tower here from 1841 to 1858. After the Civil War, the Old English Church became the first Freedman’s School and the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The original steeple blew off in a storm in the 1890s. Today the property is privately owned.

[1] Harrah, Dianne. Houses of Worship. Wolf Run Studios. Accessed July 08, 2017. http://www.wolfrunstudio.com/PAGES/pg_hwp20.html

[2] Our History. Trinity Episcopal Church. Accessed July 08, 2017. http://www.trinityshepherdstown.org/our-history/

Harrah, Dianne. Houses of Worship. Wolf Run Studios. Accessed July 08, 2017. http://www.wolfrunstudio.com/PAGES/pg_hwp20.html.

Our History. Trinity Episcopal Church. Accessed July 08, 2017. http://www.trinityshepherdstown.org/our-history/.