Walpole Meeting House, 1772, South Bristol

On Sunday afternoon, after a lobster lunch overlooking the harbor in Bristol, our group gathered at  the Walpole Meeting House.  Built in  1772, it’s located at the head of the South Bristol peninsula, and sits atop a hill along  Meeting House Road. The two-story building is notably intact including original riven wood shingles on three facades, and its interior box pews and pulpit.

Click gallery above to start slide show

Click gallery above to start slide show

Robert Adam (L) & Roger Reed (R):

Robert Adam (L) & Roger Reed (R): Photo Kate Matison

Historian Roger Reed of the National Park Service (NPS) shared the following: “the principal reason I was on the tour was because the NPS had received an inquiry for National Historic Landmark designation for the Walpole Meetinghouse, and I spent that weekend looking as several in New Hampshire and Massachusetts as well.” After his visit Roger wrote: ‘I was impressed by the high degree of integrity in the Walpole Meetinghouse, and this is necessary for NHL designation under Criterion 4 (architecture). The question will be how to evaluate this building as an important surviving once-common property type compared to other wonderful survivors in New England, many of which have undergone “historic” alterations, including in the late 18th century. However, if you are going to draw a line in the evolution of meetinghouse architecture from the 17th century Old Ship Meetinghouse in Hingham, to the classic Federal style “Asher Benjamin type” church, Walpole appears to be an important early example (architecturally, if not chronologically).’

Click gallery above to start slide show

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