Antebellum Gothic Revival
in Staunton and Harrisonburg
In the 1850s Staunton was a bustling city of several thousand people. When the Virginia Central Railroad was built in 1854, it encouraged commercial development and population growth. Trinity Church was designed by English-born architect James Wood Johns, who had recently built some parts of the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria. Anglican “high church” ideas from the Oxford-Cambridge Movement were adapted to a simpler parish church environment. After the war, in 1872 the church was enlarged and the rectory added by William H. Pratt. This was the first Gothic Revival church in the central valley.