Westover Autumn Pilgrimage House Tour
Saturday, September 28, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT)
Westover Church’s 2013 Autumn Pilgrimage House Tour to Celebrate 400 Years of Serving God and Community
(Charles City, Virginia) – The Autumn Pilgrimage House Tour is always a big event, as the doors of many of our nation’s most historic homes are opened to the public for one day. The 2013 house tour, however, will have an extra significance, as it celebrates a landmark birthday of one of the most historic churches in the United States.
Westover Church’s 2013 tour of historic Charles City homes and gardens, some recently renovated and some open for the first time and for this day only, will be held on Saturday, September 28, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This year’s tour celebrates the 400th anniversary of Westover Church. The parish’s original structure was built on Westover Plantation in the early 1600s soon after the settlement of Jamestown. It was dismantled and reconstructed on its present site on Herring Creek in 1730.
For list of homes on the tour go to http://westoverepiscopalchurch.org/autumn-pilgrimage-house-tour/ A map that shows the home locations is available on this page as well as the brochure.
Details and Tickets:
Advance tickets are $30 and may be purchased online here or by mailing a check to the church.
For advance admission tickets via mail, send checks payable to Westover Church, 6401 John Tyler Memorial Highway, Charles City, VA 23030. Please write “Pilgrimage” in the memo line. Tickets may also be purchased on the day of the tour at Westover Church for $35. For questions about tickets, contact: Westover Church at 804-829-2488 (Office hours Mon, Wed, and Fri 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
If you need a place to stay "The Bed & Breakfast at Peace Hill" is offering a 15% discount if you mention the Pilgrimage. Check out their web site: peacehillbb.com and look at their "Offers" page.
The house tour generates funds for church outreach programs such as Meals on Wheels and No Greater Love, and also for operation of the church.
For more information on group discounts, corporate sponsorship opportunities, or vendor participation, please contact Robin Daniels at 804-334-3653 or email@example.com
When & Where
Westover Episcopal Church
Between 1611 and 1613, as the colonists moved west from Jamestown, several small parishes were formed-Weyanoke, Wallingford, and Wilmington, among others. These parishes merged and became Westover parish. Therefore, we recognize the beginning of Westover parish as 1613. This was prior to the first House of Burgesses’ recognition of Westover in 1625 because the original parishes would have been recognized by The Church of England. In 1724 Westover Parish became and remains coterminous with Charles City County.
The predecessor of the existing Westover Church was constructed between 1630 and 1637 on Westover plantation. About 1730 the construction of the present Westover Church was completed at its present site on Herring Creek about 1 ½ miles north of Westover mansion.
The ending of support by public taxation for the Episcopal Church at the start of the Revolutionary War in 1776, followed by the disestablishment of the Church in 1784, and the War of 1812, the widespread prejudice against the Church as an English loyalist institution, and a general decline of interest in religion, “culminated in the period when ‘the churches moldered away’, bereft of ministers, congregations, parish lands, and financial support.”
For almost thirty years after 1803, Westover Church was abandoned, desecrated by misuse as a barn during part of that time, and services of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Virginia lapsed completely in Charles City County.
However, about 1833 religious services were revived through sending a missionary to the county, the Reverend Parke Farley Berkeley. At this time the Church structure was repaired and restored, principally through the efforts of the families of Berkeley and Shirley, the Harrisons and the Carters. Badly wrecked by Federal troops, through their misuse of the buildings as a stable during the Civil War, Westover Church was once more restored to service in 1867 and has been used faithfully ever since.
Worshipers at Westover have included farmers, plantation owners, slaves, and Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Harrison, Tyler and Theodore Roosevelt.
The church is open for visitors on Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. or by appointment. Please contact the office during normal office hours if another time is needed.
Thank you for participating in our 400th Anniversary House Tour. The weather should be gorgeous and we have a wonderful day planned for you. Below please find a schedule of events that will be occurring throughout the day. We look forward to welcoming you to our church, homes and county.
Schedule of Events
9:00 – 5:00 House and Garden Tours. Tour at your own pace. The last tour at Sherwood Forest begins at 4:30 p.m.
Throughout the day at Westover Church, free and open to the public: Tours of historic Westover Church and its two rare colonial communion sets.
10:00 Presentation of the fox hounds at Sherwood Forest Plantation by the Princess Anne Hunt Club
12:00-12:30 Charles City Spiritual Ensemble (Singing Negro Sprituals) in the Church
12:30-3:30 Hessians Regiment Von Huyn at Westover Plantation
11:30-1:30 Brunswick stew served at Westover Church or Barbeque
Cookies, cakes, jams & pickles for sale by Women of Methodist Church
Reserved box lunch pick-up:
Charles City Tavern (804/829-5004) 9220 John Tyler Memorial Highway
Cul's Courthouse Grille (804/829-2205) 10801 Courthouse Road
3:00-4:00 Lemonade and cookies served at Evelynton
5:00 Tours end
6:30 Raffle drawing at Nance-Major House (10800 Courthouse Rd)
Smoking and photography are prohibited inside the houses.