Since its founding in 1958, the Foundation for Historic Christ Church (FHCC) has acquired over 43 acres of amenity lands surrounding the historic churchyard. In 1966 the Garden Club of Virginia (GCV) selected Christ Church for its annual historic landscape restoration project. A year earlier FHCC had completed reconstruction of the brick wall that originally enclosed the churchyard. Under the direction of landscape architect Ralph E. Griswold, the GCV created a beautiful landscape west of this wall, complete with a row of cedar trees planted in homage to the cedars that once ran from Robert “King” Carter’s Corotoman estate on the   Rappahannock River towards Christ Church (1735).

Dedicated on May 21, 1968, the restored landscape included a modern burying ground which flanked the cedars and lay within a circular drive running by the churchyard wall. Within three months the first burial took place: the reinterment from Grace Episcopal Church, Kilmarnock of FHCC Charter Member Anne Frederica David (1878-1965). Since then, FHCC has created three sections in the burying ground encompassing 1,497 sites. Over 900 burials have taken place to date, including 267 veterans, whose graves volunteers mark with American flags each Memorial and Veterans’ Days.

Many individuals who helped found FHCC are interred here, including architectural historian Helen Bullock, FHCC’s first President Ennolls A. Stephens, Sr., Richard Herndon (FHCC President 1963-1975), Louise and Gridley Dawe, and archaeologists J.C. “Pinky” Harrington and his wife Virginia, who in 1937 became the first female Ranger Historian at the National Park Service. Pinky’s excavations here in 1959 located the original churchyard wall, and in 1967 he advised FHCC to keep the modern cemetery “unobtrusive and in harmony with the total  effect” by using markers flush with the ground instead of trying to recreate a colonial graveyard with above-ground monuments that would confuse visitors.

Now an integral part of the campus, the burying ground connects the recent past with visitors who have friends and family members buried here. Oftentimes, these visitors come in search of gravesites not knowing the full significance of Historic Christ Church; many end up taking a tour and become interested in joining as members or volunteers.

Part of Historic Christ Church’s story is to honor and celebrate the remarkable lives of those interred here. We invite you to contact our Assistant Director and Burying Ground Manager Paula Stallard ( or 804-438-2447) to ask questions, to share information and photographs of your friends and loved ones buried here, or to learn more about acquiring rights to a burial site.