St. Andrew's Parish was created by the Maryland Provincial Assembly in 1744 from parts of two adjoining parishes - All Faith Parish on the north, and William and Mary Parish on the south. The new parish could not be organized until the rectors of All Faith and William and Mary resigned or died, thus releasing their freeholds. On November 27, 1753, William Russell made the first entry in the "Register for St. Andrew's Parish" now in the Hall of Records in Annapolis. Worship services were held in the courthouse in Leonardtown.
In April, 1766, two acres of land, called Waldrums' Old Field, were purchased from Samuel Bellwood for five pounds currency as a site for the new church.
One reason the new parish of St. Andrew's had been established was to serve Leonardtown, which had become Maryland's first incorporated town and the county seat of St. Mary's County in 1710. Just why the new church of this parish was built five miles from the town in an isolated spot is not clear, although the site was near the geographical center of the new parish.
Little is known of the architect of the church, Richard Boulton. He was an indentured servant to Col. George Plate of Sotterley, an important parishioner of St. Andrew's. St. Andrew's is considered to be among the most unusual of Maryland colonial churches by virtue of its twin west towers embellished by brick quoin, the inset portico, the two convex tapering columns, the palladian or venetian window, the fluted ionic interior columns the two-level gallery, and the reredos.
St. Andrew's Church was entered on the National Register of Historic Places on March 14, 1973.
Until 1985, Old St. Andrew's Church was used only during the summer months and for special occasions. The addition of heat and lighting to St. Andrew's made its year-round use possible. Services are held each Sunday at 8:00 and 10:30 am. All visitors are welcome. A historical tour of both the 1767 church and churchyard with our local historians and emeritus archivist are available upon request.
GPS Coordinates: 38.2881, -76.5519
- Added: 2 Jan 2000
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #81450
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