Monday, March 23, 2009

Blandford Church - Petersburg

Yesterday was a beautiful spring day, and I took advantage of the delightful weather to drive to Petersburg to look at an old church there, Blanford Church. Surrounding the church is a 300-acre cemetery, the second largest cemetery in Virginia, the largest being Arlington National Cemetery.

Petersburg, which is south of Richmond, was under siege during the Civil War for 10 months. There is a mass grave for Confederate soldiers in the Blanford Cemetery. The church itself was used, as so many churches were during that time, as a hospital.

The cemetery dates back to 1702. The church was built in about 1735 and was abandoned by the early 1800s. Petersburg's Ladies Memorial Association turned the church into a chapel honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Today Blandford Church is noted for its Tiffany windows, one for each of the 13 Confederate states. There are also Tiffany windows for Maryland and Arkansas, and a fan light over the entrance door. The windows were made between the years 1901 and 1908 at a cost of $350 each. Each window, except the one for Kentucky, pictures an apostle. They are unbelievably beautiful and are a must see for anyone who happens to be in Petersburg.

Photos are not allowed inside the church, so I don't have any photos of the windows to share.

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