Where Baltimore's History Rests in Peace
Welcome to Westminster Burying Ground, one of Baltimore's oldest graveyards and the burial place of Edgar Allan Poe. This introduction is the first of many interpretive signs describing Westminster's origins and significance, and some of the people buried here.
Westminster Hall, a former Presbyterian church, has been adapted for contemporary use and now hosts receptions, programs, meetings and concerts. Construction of the church on arches atop the 18th-century burying ground created "catacombs" underneath - and produced a unique architectural landmark.
[illustration]A Public Trust
Westminster Hall & Burying Ground is operated by the Westminster Preservation Trust, Inc., a private, non-provit organization established under the leadership of the University of Maryland Schoool of Law. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the site was funded in part by Maryland's Program Open Space.
[drawing]Bird's Eye View
Baltimore's First Presbyterian Church acquired land for a new burying ground in 1786. Its 180 burial lots were laid out in rows running from the south toward Fayette Street.Owl's Illustrated Eye-View of the Westminster Presvyterian Cemetery...
Pen & ink sketch by Al Bakutis, 1981
Westminster Hall's unique charm makes for memorable special occasions.
Holland Photo Arts, Charlottesville, VA
150 years of obelisks, tablets, slabs and burial vaults.
Along Greene Street, March 12, 1935
Copyright 1935, reprinted with permission of the Baltimore Sun
[photograph]Master of the Macabre
The tomb of Edgar Allan Poe, one of America's greatest writers, draws visitors to Westminster from across the globe.
Dauguerrotype of Edgar Allan Poe by William Pratt, 1849
Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University
[print]Bombs Bursting in Air
The stirring defense of Baltimroe at Fort McHenry and North Point in 1814 was long remembered as Baltimore's "finest hour." Many of those who helped repulse the British invaders are buried here.A View of the Bombardment of Fort Mchenry ... the 13th of Sept. 1814.
Aquatint by J. Bower
The Maryland Historical Society
Sam Smith, who served in the American Revolution and the War of 1812, is the best known of some 300 veterans buried here. General Sam Smith
by Rembrant Peale, oil on canvas, 1816
The Maryland Historical Society
A Community Resource
Westminster Burying Ground is open to the public during daylight hours.
Guided tours of Westminster Burying Ground and the catacombs are offered on the first and third Friday (6:30pm) and Saturday (10am) of each month, April through November. Group tours may be scheduled year-round for groups of 15 or more people. Reservations are required.
Westminster Hall is available for receptions, corporate events, holiday parties, anniversaries and special dinners, meetings and conferences.
Westminster's annual schedule of events includes Lunch Under the Pipes, a free lunchtime music series during the acacemic year, and a Halloween Tour on October 31st. Please contact us at 410-706-7228 for detailed information.
For more information, please call 410-706-2072, or visit us at www.westminsterhall.org.