The authoritative source on
  early churches of New Jersey

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We've created a database and photographic inventory on more than half the 18th & 19th century churches in the state and add to it each month. We welcome and solicit all contributions and suggestions from our visitors.

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   Photographic Inventory

St. Thomas Episcopal Church
Glassboro, Gloucester County


This is a fine early English Gothic parish church, erected before the Episcopal church in this country endorsed the use of specific late medieval English models for its buildings. The architect, John Notman, picked up the general concept and improvised specific elements, like the rhomboid window and the parapets at the top of the tower. The square Norman tower and the small bellcote at the rear of the nave are found on many English churches.
       Although the church was not built until 1846, it was designed by Notman about 1840, one of two designs he made for the church. The design is similar to St Peter's church in Brownsville, PA, which he may have designed (or copied), and both may have been inspired by St. Oswalds, in Liverpool, England. The interior exposed timber framing is very similar to the Chapel of the Holy Innocents in Burlington, which Notman designed a few years later. The apse and sacristy were added later, during the Civil War, after the Ecclesiology movement became popular in New Jersey, and Bishop Doane essentially mandated the English Gothic style as the only appropriate plan for Anglican worship.
     Originally, the interior walls and ceiling were graced by stenciling, which has been painted over. The stone altar is original, but the choir, now located in the chancel, was originally in the rear of the church; on the whole, the church has been remarkably well preserved. I consider this one of the more historically important churches in the state.





Copyright (c) 2003 Frank L. Greenagel