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Lower Lunenburg Parish Church
Warsaw
Richmond County
Virginia  USA

Cemetery notes and/or description:
Lower Lunenburg Parish Church is
a forgotten landmark that formerly
graced the town of Warsaw in
Richmond County, Virginia. Adjacent
to U.S. Route 360, the church has
been little more than a ring of tall
oak trees covered in vines and hidden
by dense brush for more than a century.
Fragments of brick and the meandering
surface of this hidden spot are the
only indications that a grand church,
built for the likes of Landon Carter
and his fellow citizens, once stood in
this quiet place. But far from being
lost to history, the ruins of this
church, in the ground and in documents,
have much to tell us about 18th-century
architecture, aspirations, and religious
practices. In August 2005, archaeologists
conducted an initial exploration of the
church site. The goal of this project was
to archaeologically evaluate and document
the integrity and research potential of
the Lower Lunenburg Parish Church,
constructed circa 1732-37, and an elaborate
stone tomb foundation that may have been
associated with Landon Carter and his family.
The Inscription stone of Elizabeth Wormeley
Carter (1713-1740),
first wife of Landon Carter was moved to
Sabine Hall in the latter part of the
20th century.

Tradition holds that Landon Carter and
his second wife are also buried at Lower
Lunenburg.

While we did not locate evidence of
additional elaborate tombs, it is likely
that they exist beneath the rubble near
the grave of Elizabeth Carter, or perhaps
in the east chancel of the church. Bishop
Meade includes a detailed passage about
Lower Lunenburg church in his seminal
1857 work on the churches and ministers
of Virginia. In his book, Meade reprints
a letter from an unspecified acquaintance
recounting the location of the church near
the road and courthouse and surrounded by
a collapsing brick wall and stately shade
trees. The account continues:
"Like most of the old churches in
Virginia, it was built of brick,
finished in the best manner, and
cruciform in shape; the pulpit was
very elevated, and placed on the
south side at an angle near the
centre of the building. The aisles
were floored with large stones,
square and smoothly dressed, and the
pews with planks….. The church was
claimed by an individual, when in
ruins, and the materials from time
to time removed and used for various
domestic purposes."
(Meade 1966:2:179-180)

According to Meade, Lower Lunenburg
church was constructed around 1737,
and was standing until about 1813,
when its roof collapsed and
the bricks began to be salvaged
(Meade 1966:2:180).
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