You are here

Old Narragansett Church (Old St. Paul's Church)

-A A +A
Old St. Paul's Church
1707 and later. 60 Church Ln.
  • Old Narragansett Church (Old St. Paul's Church) (John M. Miller)

Originally built in 1707 some five miles away on Shermantown Road, this famous church was moved in 1800 when Narragansett plantation society began to disperse and Wickford became the center of trade in the region. In its utter simplicity the building speaks eloquently of the influence of English classicism on the New England meeting house form at a very early date. The round-arched windows lie directly in the plane of the thin walls. Simple pilasters and a resounding segmental-arched pediment mark the double entry door. By placing the windows high on the wall and enlarging both the structure and the details, the builder has given monumentality to the basic five-bay house form. The interior reflects this same combination of classicism and New England tradition. The plan is that of a meeting house, with the pulpit against the long wall, but the ceiling is a plastered barrel vault. The gallery dates from 1723 and the pews were installed c. 1800. St. Paul's celebrates the summer season by moving its services from Thomas Tefft's “new” St. Paul's to its unheated ancient quarters.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Old Narragansett Church (Old St. Paul's Church)", [North Kingstown, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Rhode Island, William H. Jordy, with Ronald J. Onorato and William McKenzie Woodward. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 360-360.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.