St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

  • 108 US Hwy 15 South
    USA Stovall , NC 28012
    Granville County
  • $115,000
  • 1,172 square feet
  • Lot Size: 0.84 acres / Zoning: Residential-Agricultural

Cathleen Turner , Regional Director
Preservation NC, Piedmont Office

Quaint rural church built c.1880 with high ceilings, large windows and stained glass arched window, two-story bell tower, original finishes, and pews. Perfect for a charming event venue or a cute coffee shop!

Architectural and Historical Information

The congregation of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church was established around 1870 by members of the Gregory family and other residents in the Stovall community, many originating from Virginia. About ten years later they built this simple, yet elegant, rectangular frame chapel with large nine-over-nine double hung sash windows and louvered shutters, a beveled cornice and returns, and a wide paneled frieze.

In 1902, the church was consecrated by the Right Reverend Joseph Blount Cheshire, Bishop of North Carolina. Perhaps in anticipation of the Bishop’s visit, the church was renovated around 1900 including the installation of the pointed arched stained glass window on the west wall behind the chancel. In 1916, the structure was “placed on rollers” and moved further back on the lot to its present location, and work began on the bell tower. The two-story entrance tower features a high-pitched roof covered in pressed metal shingles that flare out at the eaves creating a broad overhang. A diamond shaped vent is set below the cornice band above the front entrance and carries the sound of the bell which is still housed in the belfry.

The entrance is comprised of two large paneled doors beneath a transom, with a bell rope located to the left of the entrance doors. The anteroom is further lit by windows on the south and north walls. The main sanctuary is entered through another set of paneled double-doors with engaged pilasters and molded architrave surround. The quiet simplicity of the chapel is enlivened by horizontally laid beadboard on the walls that continues up the ceiling. In addition to the tall double hung windows, the interior space is lit by simple bulbs that hang on wire above the wood pews. In the center of the space was a wood stove that provided the congregation with warmth in cold weather. The decorated stove has been disconnected, but is stored onsite and the chimney above its former location still pierces the roof.

At the back of the church is the chancel framed by a pointed arch set upon a raised platform. Behind a molded railing with plain picket balustrade is the hand-painted Gothic Revival altar and the lovely stained glass arched window. Flanking the chancel are two rooms entered through doors with patterned beadboard design. The room on the left has a small beadboard door to the altar.

Interior furnishings include the pews, some chairs, and carved benches, plus an organ, piano, and portraits of the Gregory Family who built the church. The crucifix above the sanctuary entrance is from Mexico and was given to the church by E.N. and Marion Dickerson. They also gave the cross on top of the bell tower in 1907. The Dickersons were wealthy New Yorkers who bought a hunting lodge nearby and attended the church during their visits to North Carolina. Mr. Dickerson was the patent attorney for Alexander Graham Bell.

Services were held in the church for 100 years until 1970 when it was deconsecrated. The property was then purchased by members of the Gregory family who have used it for celebrations and functions. Several members of the Gregory family are buried in the small cemetery adjacent to the church.

The church is in good condition and would benefit from some maintenance and thoughtful updates. The building has an electrical system (service disconnected). There is no plumbing or modern heating/cooling. The Town of Stovall has public water and sewer available; however, the church is not yet connected to the public system.

Note: Use coordinates 36.4469397,-78.5705577 for mapping information

Area Information

Just one hour north of Raleigh, Stovall is a small town with a strong desire for recreation. Granville County brings together the best of small-town living and easy access to metropolitan amenities. It is home to thriving equestrian, agri-tourism, and recreational opportunities including farms, stables, local farmers markets, access to five lakes (Lake Devin, Lake Holt, Lake Rogers, Falls Lake, and Kerr Lake), greenways, bike trails, and two recreation facilities. John Penn, one of the original signatories of the United States Declaration of Independence, lived just three miles northeast of St. Peter’s, and the historical marker sits in the front yard of the church.

Click here to view the pdf brochure for the (former) St. Peter’s Episcopal Church