Hamilton Parish was established in 1730. The first Parish church was built at Elk Run; its
foundation was recently uncovered and the site has been developed as a park. The second
church, St. Mary’s, was erected in 1755 at Turkey Run, about one mile south of what is now
Warrenton, then known as Fauquier Court House. In 1810, the town was officially named
Warrenton. By then, the churches at Elk Run and Turkey Run had been abandoned and fallen into
In 1816, the first Episcopal Church within the town was built just below the Courthouse on
Alexandria Pike, and was known as St. James’ Church. The wooden framework structure was
sold in 1846, and in 1853, a new brick church on Culpeper Street was consecrated; it continues
today as the site of St. James’ Church.
The 1853 church was designed by renowned New York architect, James Renwick, a strong
advocate of the Gothic Revival style of architecture (such as the Smithsonian Castle , designed by
Renwick). In 1910, a devastating fire consumed the church and most of its contents. The church
was rebuilt, and services resumed in 1912. A parish hall was attached to the north side, now used
as a chapel.
The rebuilt structure is a stucco and brick building in the style of an English parish church. Once
inside the Gothic interior, one sees the splendid stained glass Ascension window above the altar.
Two windows were salvaged from the 1910 fire, as were some of the furnishings, including the
brass pulpit and Communion rail. Today, St. James’ is beautified with additional stained glass
windows, more than 300 needlepoint kneelers hand-stitched by parishioners, and other
appropriate furnishings to enrich the setting in which we worship. One of the treasures of St.
James’ is a 17th century copy of the King James Bible.
Fourteen rectors have served St. James’ during its 192 year history.
We are located at 73 Culpeper Street, in the
historic district of Warrenton, Virginia. We
are conveniently located just east of 29
Business, on Culpeper Street. If you need
exact driving directions, please use the
73 Culpeper Street
Warrenton, VA 20186
Schedule for Holy Eucharist
8:00am Rite I
10:15am Rite II
12:00noon Rite II