ST. MATTHEW'S EPISCOPAL
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From the National Register nomination:
Sited high on a hill overlooking St. Mary's Road, St. Matthews Episcopal Church is an outstanding example of the early Gothic Revival in North Carolina and is listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places. The three-bay-wide, front-gabled, Flemish-bond brick building has a slate roof and fine lancet windows. The brick detailing includes recessed gothic-arched panels as well as rectangular recessed panels to frame the gothic-arched stained-glass windows. A pyramidal-roofed entrance tower on the west elevation contains an arched entrance with double doors with intricate flat paneling and a molded surround encased in a double row of brick headers. The tower, which was reworked and the spire added in 1875, has a blind gothic- arched panel on the façade and diamond-shaped vents in the slate roof. The chancel, at the east end of the building, is apparently a later addition also. It has a three-part arched window on the rear elevation and six- panel doors with gothic-arched transoms on the side elevations. Modern stone and slate steps access the front entrance and the churchyard is enclosed by a brick wall that extends to St. Mary's Road following the boundaries of the property.
The land on which St. Matthew’s was built was conveyed verbally by Thomas Ruffin around 1820. His deed, dated April 10, 1854, conveyed 1 1/3 acres, but this has been progressively enlarged to accommodate the church, parish house, and a brick-walled cemetery. The church, built between 1825 and 1826, was designed by William Nichols in the Gothic Revival style. He specified the building to be 35' by 45', because "a less width would not be proportionate with the length." The building was constructed by local masons John Berry and Samuel Hancock. Today it stands as a tribute to these fine designers and builders. The church replaced an earlier structure at the northwest corner of North Churton and West Tryon streets that burned in 1793.
07.23.2016 (G. Kueber)
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