St. Paul's Episcopal Church
On a cold morning I walked to St. Paul's hoping to see inside but unfortunately I was too early for the 9:30am opening time. However, I was able to walk around the church's grounds at my leisure and admire the exterior of the building, stained-glass window, and read many of the incredibly old gravestones beneath the magnolia and oak trees. The church grounds included another building as well as the church itself and the fairly large graveyard, and all were surrounded by thick brick walls. It was Norfolk's first graveyard and some graves date back to the 1600's. Some gravestones were nearly unreadable, but the ones which could be read were quite interesting. The stones of those days reveal more information about the deceased than most gravestones of today, a fact which those interested in genealogy would appreciate.
The current St. Paul's was completed in 1739, as a replacement for the "Chapel of Ease" which was built on the same site in 1641. St. Paul's is the only pre-Revolutionary War structure remaining in downtown Norfolk, and though severely damaged at the time, the only one to survive the British Bombardment and burning of Norfolk on January 1, 1776. A cannonball fired by one of Lord Dunsmore's ships is still embedded in the south wall of the church to this day.
St. Paul's is located at 201 St. Paul's Boulevard and is open for meditation and for self-guided tours Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 am to pm. Services are held Sundays and Wednesday at noon. There is no admission but donations are gratefully accepted.