In 1641 a "chapel of ease" was built here where St. Paul's Church is now. The 1680 survey of the new town designated this site for a church and burying ground. Many of the founders of Norfolk are buried here. When Norfolk became a borough by royal charter in 1736, it was decided to erect a more substantial church. The new Borough Church was completed in 1739 and became a center of community activities. Along with the rest of Norfolk the church was burned during the British bombardment in January 1776. Only the walls remained standing, but it was returned to service about a decade later. A cannonball fired by Lord Dunmore's fleet remains embedded in the south wall of the church. The old building was repaired and reconsecrated as St. Paul's Episcopal Church in 1832. Important events in the history of the church include organization of opposition to the Stamp Act in 1775, a commemoration of the death of George Washington in 1800, and the funeral of General Douglas MacArthur in 1964.
(Caption, picture on left): This early 1840s woodcut shows the church retaining its small 18th century turret.
(Caption, picture on right): By 1857, the turret had disappeared, but it was replaced by a wooden tower on the northeast. It too has gone.
Both pictures courtesy of St. Paul's Episcopal Church