St. Luke's Historic Church & Museum, Smithfield

4.7
#1 of 11 in Things to do in Smithfield
Religious Site · Historic Site
Create an itinerary including St. Luke's Historic Church & Museum
St. Luke's Church, also known as Old Brick Church, or Newport Parish Church, is a historic church building, located in the unincorporated community of Benns Church, near Smithfield in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, United States. It is the oldest church in Virginia and oldest church in British North America of brick construction. According to local tradition the structure was built in 1632, but other evidence points to a date of 1682; see Dating controversy.
On October 15, 1966, St. Luke's was designated a National Historic Landmark and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in recognition of its historic and architectural distinction. In 1957 President Dwight D. Eisenhower designated the site a National Shrine in concert with the 350th anniversary of Jamestown.
Since 1954 Historic St. Luke's Restoration, doing business as Historic St. Luke's Church, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that maintains, preserves, promotes, and interprets the 17th-century, 100-acre historic site. Historic St. Luke's does not receive any federal, state, or municipal funding. All sourcing comes from private corporations, foundations, and individuals.
Once known as "Old Brick Church", St. Luke's is described by College of William & Mary professor and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation architectural historian Carl Lounsbury as an Artisan Mannerism style of structure blending many influences into a builder rather than an architect-focused structure. Other examples of such architecture include Bacon's Castle in nearby Surry County, Virginia and exhibit Cavalier or Royalist sensibilities. St. Peter's Church in New Kent, Virginia is a later, less ornate style reflecting the Glorious Revolution of Dutch-English monarchs William & Mary.
Choose to start, finish, or center your holiday on a trip to St. Luke's Historic Church & Museum by using our Smithfield travel route builder.
Source
Create a full itinerary - for free!

St. Luke's Historic Church & Museum reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
470 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • The stained glass windows are beautiful. Our guide Thomas gave a hour lecture and tour. He was very knowledgeable. Highly recommend a visit. Great place for a school field trip. Beautiful place for a....  more
    The stained glass windows are beautiful. Our guide Thomas gave a hour lecture and tour. He was very knowledgeable. Highly recommend a visit. Great place for a school field trip. Beautiful place for a....  more »
  • Wonderful experience! Anyone with even a passing interest in colonial history would enjoy this tour. If you're lucky you'll get Gloria Laboone as your docent. Gloria is incredibly knowledgeable and... 
    Wonderful experience! Anyone with even a passing interest in colonial history would enjoy this tour. If you're lucky you'll get Gloria Laboone as your docent. Gloria is incredibly knowledgeable and...  more »
Google
  • We went on a weekday when it was not very busy and ended up getting a private tour. Our guide,Leslie, was a very sweet and knowledgeable lady. We went inside the church and out in the cemetery. We greatly enjoyed it. They are only open certain days so be sure to check their website to make sure they are open.
  • Visited for the first time today after hearing about it at the Smithfield Farmer's market. A beautiful old church that's stood the testament of time (nearly 335 years!), Thomas was a fanatic tour guide with so much knowledge to giv. The grounds are well kept, picturesque on a nice day like today and somewhere I'd totally go again.

Plan your trip to Smithfield

  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.