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1850–1852. 674 Mannsdale Rd.

This chapel, cemetery, and rectory form Mississippi’s most significant Gothic Revival ensemble. Plantation owner Margaret Johnstone built the chapel as a monument to her husband, John, and simultaneously donated its tenacre grounds to the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi. Long isolated, the setting is today threatened by spreading suburbs. Nowhere in Mississippi did the ecclesiological movement manifest itself more overtly than here, under the influence of Mississippi’s first Episcopal bishop, William Mercer Green, who arrived in 1850 with progressive architectural tastes. The brick chapel (pictured) has a steep-roofed nave, a narrow chancel, an entrance porch on a side wall, pointed-arched openings, and a bell-cote. Given its original isolation, the chapel likely was built by enslaved workers on the plantation.

The cemetery with its ornate cast-iron fence is adjacent. One of its first burials was Henry Vick (of Vicksburg’s founding family), who died in a New Orleans duel only days before he was to wed Margaret Johnstone’s daughter, Helen. Displaying similarities with the Manship House (JM40) in Jackson, the wooden rectory to the north has Tudor-arched doorways, label moldings over the windows, a steep front gable with vergeboards, an oriel window, cast-iron verandah supports, and a center-hall plan. It is thought that contractor Jacob Larmour moved to Mississippi from New York to build the chapel and rectory.

Writing Credits

Jennifer V.O. Baughn and Michael W. Fazio with Mary Warren Miller


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Jennifer V.O. Baughn and Michael W. Fazio with Mary Warren Miller, "CHAPEL OF THE CROSS, CEMETERY, AND RECTORY", [Madison, Mississippi], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Mississippi, Jennifer V. O. Baughn and Michael W. Fazio. With Mary Warren Miller. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2021, 231-232.

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