Founded in 1692, the beautiful and historic St. Anne’s Episcopal Church was one of 30 Anglican parishes in the Province of Maryland during the colonial period and was the very first church built in Annapolis. The church that stands today is actually the third built upon the site in Church Circle, Annapolis.
Construction of the first church was slowed by lack of funds, materials, and skilled workers caused by the Anglo-French War. After 12 years of work, it was completed in 1704. Queen Anne of England donated its bell, which summed parishioners to mass until a fire destroyed it in 1858. Writers of the era described it as more of a barn, rather than a “proper place of worship”.
Eventually, local citizens’ request for a new church was granted by Maryland’s government in 1775. The original structure was razed, and work on the second church began. Joseph Horatio Anderson, who was the Maryland State House architect, was hired for its design. However, the beginning of the Revolutionary War cancelled construction. Materials intended to build the church were used to construct a fort instead. Although victorious, the United States suffered economically due to war debts and trade disruption. As a result, the second St. Anne’s Church was not completed until 1792. Even though it was a more solid building than the first, a furnace fire gutted the second church’s interior on Valentine’s Day, 1858.
Construction on the third church was much more rapid than that of its predecessors, and construction was mostly completed by 1859. Designed in Romanesque Revival style that is the source of its exterior beauty, the new St. Anne’s incorporated part of the old tower in its structure. However, the American Civil War delayed the completion of the steeple until 1866. It is crowned by St. Anne’s Compass Rose, signifying the universal call of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the mission of St. Anne’s Parish to Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. Tiffany stained glass windows are the most beautiful feature of the interior. The south side’s third window depicts St. Anne as she instructs her youthful daughter, the Virgin Mary.
A B&B Near St. Anne’s
St. Anne’s Church is less than half a mile away from Gibson’s Lodgings, a historic inn located in downtown Annapolis. Call us to reserve your bed and breakfast room at our toll free number 877-330-0057. We’ll be very happy to serve you and your family throughout the year.