Newtown Presbyterian Church - Newtown, PA
N 40° 13.923 W 074° 56.285
18T E 505267 N 4453514
Quick Description: In 1776, George Washington used this NRHP church as a prison for Hessian soldiers.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 3/14/2010 8:25:57 PM
Waymark Code: WM8D33
One interesting fact I discovered about this church is it serve as a retired prison. In December of 1776, because it was one of the largest buildings in town, General Washington commandeered it and used it as a hospital, a jail and a P.O.W. "camp." After the Battle of Trenton, several hundred Hessians were held here before they began their long march to Philadelphia where they would be exchanged for American soldiers. SOURCE
This old edifice is the second of four Presbyterian Church buildings erected in Newtown. The first was built in 1734, this one was erected in 1769. The church was remodeled in 1842, and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in July of 1987. At the top, center of the church is a white, circular section surrounded by fanned out bricks creating a border set inside the brick facade. It reads Erected 1769 ~ Repaired 1842. I was able to see it from the street.
After reading the interpretive out front, I climbed the hill and made my way to the rear and checked out the 19th century cemetery, There were about 125 graves, most from the 1800s. I did find a few from the mid-20th century, Apparently, this is not the "full-time" cemetery or church anymore, the new one is located at 25 North Chancellor Street. It is a very peaceful place nonetheless with a gazebo in the rear as well.
In back of the church is the cemetery. As you stroll through the cemetery, you may be surprised to find eight British flags. They mark the graves of men who fought in the French and Indian War. There are twenty-eight flags flying over the graves of members of this church who followed General Washington in the Revolutionary War. In the back, just in front of the wall, is the grave of a man who stood for the Union during the Civil War.