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“Nice setting” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Historic St. Luke's Church

Historic St. Luke's Church
14477 Benns Church Blvd, Smithfield, VA 23430
(757) 357-3367
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Ranked #3 of 11 Attractions in Smithfield
Type: Religious Sites, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: For almost 400 years, Historic St. Luke's has watched the world change around it. From wars to weddings, abandonment to restoration, the history of Old Brick Church is long and varied. Established circa 1632 by Church of England parishioners, St. Luke's later served an Episcopal congregation and today exists as a federal historic landmark managed by Historic St. Luke's Restoration, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Nice setting”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2012

The tour was nice. I enjoyed seeing the old organ.

Visited December 2011
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57 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    39
    14
    3
    0
    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
harrisburg, PA
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“Worth the visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2012

The historic organ was beautiful. What looked like a drawing on the front actually concealed the pipes and it was nice to hear a recording of a recital played on it. The docent's tour was very informative.

Visited March 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sparta, New Jersey
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
40 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Great addition to visiting Historic Smithfield”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2012

This is a great addition if you are touring the town of Smithfield. The Church was built in 1632 and is still in great shape. The guides are very knowledgeable about the churchs history. Take time to view some of the old graves at the church. Great place to learn more about history.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampton Roads region, Virginia
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Nice old church”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 29, 2012

I got married there. It is a nice place to visit if you are into that sort of thing.

Visited February 2012
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Isle of Wight County, Virginia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“So beautiful, I got married here. And I keep coming back.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2011

The oldest church in the United States founded by the English, St. Luke's dates to 1632. It has served as a church, a courthouse, and as shelter for soldiers during the Civil War. Horses were even sheltered inside during bad storms during wartime.
Graves in the cemetery date to the early 1700's, including one minister who once dove through a window behind the altar and fell to his death; he was buried in the spot where he died.
The docents and staff are wonderful and helpful, full of historical knowledge about the church. Several pieces in the church are original to the church itself, other pieces such as some chairs and tables aren't original but are true to the time-period of the early 1600's. During the 1950's restoration, a brick was found with the date 1632 on it, it is now on permanent display above the altar.
Near the altar is an original English organ, dated to 1600, which still plays! To help preserve it, staff plays a recording of the organ for the many visitors.
The church's congregation left in the 1800's to form Christ Church, located on S. Church Street in Smithfield. It still holds services in St Lukes on every fifth Sunday. Other churches also hold services on occasion, such as Benn's United Methodist, which itself dates to 1789.
Weddings are held at St Lukes regularly, including mine in 2009. The church's accoustics are so perfect, that no microphones are ever needed. The sounding board above the pulpit is original to St Lukes. The floor and ceiling are exactly restored, including the two graves which are beneath the floor before the altar (common practice for many years). The stained glass dates over 100 years and was brought from Germany.
If you love history (and churches in general), nothing in the world can compare to St Luke's. The Old Brick church is a true gem, one of a kind marvel that is unlike anything else in the United States. Tours are free, and the gift shop sales help in its upkeep. You can also donate or become a member of the foundation to help support ongoing restoration efforts.

Visited June 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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