The Eastern Shore of Virginia Network

Hungars Episcopal Church, Bayside Road, Bridgetown, VA

Services each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. with nursery and church school
Wednesday Eucharist at 9:30 a.m.

Hungars Parish is the ecclesiastical area known politically as Northampton County. Since the assignment of the first minister in 1623, there have been three church buildings known as "Hungars Church." The first of these three was built around 1646 on land acquire through Richard Vaughan's bequest in 1645 of tobacco "toward the building of a house for God's service." This church known first as "Nuswattocks Church" stood about 150 yards north of Pear Plain on the west bank of Hungars Creek.

By 1679, the original church was apparently no longer useable, so the Hungars Church Wardens contracted with Symon Thomas to build a new church using materials from the old one. The cost was 10,000 pounds of tobacco and casks. The acre of land for this church was given by Major William Spencer, and is the site of the present church. The exact date of the third building is unknown, but records indicate that is was build in about 1742, possibly by Southey Satchell and was the second largest in Virginia. Its dimensions were 90 feet by 40 feet with 2-foot thick walls.

After the Revolutionary War, the church was unused for nearly forty years and stripped of its colonial furnishings. It was repaired in 1819 and used again until 1850 when it was declared unsafe for use. A contractior from Snow Hill, Maryland, Thomas Stevenson, salvaged the building by shortening it and closing the side doors, replacing them with two new doors in the west wall.

The present interior was completed in 1892 by adding a gallery and stove flues and enclosing the north vesting room. The oak floor was laid in 1922. In 1950 lighting and central heat were added, the south vesting room enclosed, and a brick floor was laid in the vestibule. Recent improvements include air conditioning added in 1985, a brick walkway to the parish house and memorial pulpit completed in 1991, and repainting and wood work restoration done in 1992.

Hungars Church is part of the Hungars Cure Parish.

Return to Machipongo, or to Northampton County.


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