Bruton Parish Churchyard and Cemetery - Williamsburg, VA
Posted by: NorStar
N 37° 16.290 W 076° 42.154
18S E 349046 N 4126349
Quick Description: The Bruton Parish Churchyard, which is likely the largest colonial burial site still existing in Virginia, has many gravestones sticking out of brick walkways and hundreds more that are not marked.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 12/21/2009 9:24:13 PM
Waymark Code: WM7Y7C
In Williamsburg, on the edge of Colonial Williamsburg, is a brick church that is the Bruton Parish, Episcopal Church. The church is surrounded by a brick wall that defines the churchyard. Within the churchyard are many graves that stick out from the bricks laid down to walk on. These gravestones appear to be randomly placed. A few are by the church itself. Some are either vertically set, protruding through the brick, while some are horizontally laid with brick lining around them. In one case, a wooden bench was laid around a gravestone. Further away from the church are large monuments that are in grass.
There is a brochure about the history of the parish church that states that this cemetery may be the largest colonial burial site that is still existing in Virginia. The first grave was placed in 1678 for Thomas Ludwell. Many other important figures have been placed there, and they are listed in a second brochure. Names include: Elizabeth Tyler, an ancestor to John Tyler; John Blair, a signer of the Constitution; and the Tuckers, a family of lawyers that were widely dispersed. In addition, there are Confederate soldiers buried here after the Battle of Williamsburg, and hundreds of unmarked graves. In all, there are only 148 marked graves.
Getting to the church is a bit tricky, since most of the Duck of Gloucester Street that the church stands by is closed to car traffic until night. The church is an active Episcopal Church and has regular services.
Church Web Site, with links to church history and churchyard self guided tour: