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Truro Episcopal Church

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1933–1934, Delos Smith. 1953, parish hall, Milton Grigg. 1958–1959, William Heyl Thompson. 1984, Henry Browne. 10520 Main St.

The name Truro is venerable in Virginia history, since it was the original northern Virginia parish and encompassed the entire area. This church traces its lineage back to Payne's Church (1766), nearby on Ox Road, disestablished in the 1780s and destroyed. The present complex began in 1934 with the chapel, by Delos Smith, supposedly designed in imitation of the old Payne's Church but displaying more affinity with the contemporary Williamsburg restoration. The chapel's excellent brickwork recalls Carter's Grove as well as Wren's various northern Virginia churches. Milton Grigg added the parish hall in 1953. William Heyl Thompson, of Philadelphia, designed the main church building in 1957; construction followed in 1958–1959. The entrance, though overscaled, recalls Jefferson's niche entrance at Pavilion IX at the University of Virginia. Grigg was called back in the early 1980s to add transepts, but he died, and his partner, Henry Browne, completed the work. Jefferson's dramatic forms are easily mixed with the more modest ones of the eighteenth century. The church complex offers a mini-survey of changing interpretations of colonial architecture over the past sixty years.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Truro Episcopal Church", [Fairfax, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 68-69.

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