St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church (Harpers Ferry, West Virginia)

St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia occupies a prominent location on the heights above Harpers Ferry. The original church was built in 1833 in a pseudo-Gothic style which it kept through the Civil War, the only church in Harpers Ferry to escape destruction during the war. The church was extensively altered in 1896 in the then-popular Neo-Gothic style to produce the church seen today. The church commands a sweeping vista across the gorge of the Shenandoah River above its confluence with the Potomac River. The street along the side of the church building is part of the Appalachian Trail. A short trail leads from the church to Jefferson Rock.[2] St. Peter's Church is a mission church of St. James in Charles Town. A Mass is offered at the historic church Sunday at 9:30 a.m.[3]

St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church
St Peters church -Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, USA-30Sept2011.jpg
(Photograph, Sept 2011)
St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church (Harpers Ferry, West Virginia) is located in West Virginia
St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church (Harpers Ferry, West Virginia)
St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church (Harpers Ferry, West Virginia) is located in the United States
St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church (Harpers Ferry, West Virginia)
LocationHarpers Ferry, West Virginia
Coordinates39°19′22″N 77°43′53″W / 39.32273°N 77.73130°W / 39.32273; -77.73130Coordinates: 39°19′22″N 77°43′53″W / 39.32273°N 77.73130°W / 39.32273; -77.73130
ArchitectThe architect of the major change to the church in 1896 was Thomas J. Collins, best known for his major work in the town of Staunton, VA.
Architectural styleLate Gothic Revival
NRHP reference No.73001915
Added to NRHPMarch 30, 1973[1]


The 1831 church was dedicated in 1833, to some extent resembling reduced St. Mary's Seminary Chapel in Baltimore, Maryland as an early Gothic Revival church. The 1896 remodeling by architects Thomas J. Collins and Son was extensive in scope, completely changing the church into a stone-clad Victorian Gothic structure, resembling the architects' St. Francis Roman Catholic Church in Staunton, Virginia.[4]


The rebuilt church is an elaborately detailed Victorian Gothic structure. The exterior is finished in gray stone with red sandstone trim. The tall spire stands at the edge of the cliff overlooking the Shenandoah River. The interior is a single, bright room. Aisles are suggested by suspended vaulting with gilded pendants. The lancet windows are mainly furnished with colored glass rather than figurative representations. The sanctuary is marked by a polygonal apse.[4]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  2. ^ Ted McGee (October 6, 1972). "National Register of Historic Places Nomination: St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church" (pdf). National Park Service. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ "Mass". Retrieved December 4, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Chambers, S. Allen, Jr. Buildings of West Virginia. Oxford University Press. p. 563. ISBN 0-19-516548-9.

External linksEdit