NewEnglandTravelPlanner.com Logo   Trinity Church, Newport RI
Newport's beautiful old pre-Revolutionary church, carefully restored, is a real gem.

United Baptist Church steeple, Newport RI
United Baptist Church steeple...



 

 

Trinity Church, at corner of Spring and Church Streets (map), was built in 1726 from plans by Sir Christopher Wren, and still has its "bishop's miter" weathervane, as it did before the American Revolution.

The church is full of history: Bishop George Berkeley (who first asked "If a tree falls in the forest, but there is no one to hear, is there sound?") donated the organ (1733)—to make sure that within the church, at least, there would be sound.

George Washington was known to have worshipped at Trinity Church (pew no. 81). In later years, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Andrew, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mrs Leah Tutu have also worshipped at Trinity.

The church's famous three-level pulpit, with its "wineglass" or chalice shape, is widely admired.

One might think that in a British colony such as "Rhode Island and Providence Plantations," one of the first buildings to be built would be a meetinghouse for Church of England worship.

However, we must remember that Newport was founded as a refuge from the Church of England's control, and so the town didn't have a viable C of E congregation until 1698.

The first church, finished in 1701, was soon outgrown, so Trinity Church was built as the congregation's new meetinghouse.

The church sits prominently on a hillside with beautiful Queen Anne Square and Trinity Park in front of it. This was not always the case. The area in front of the church had been crowded with commercial and residential buildings, some in poor repair.

Heiress and philanthropist Doris Duke undertook to buy and clear away these buildings to open the area for a park. She and the Newport Restoration Foundation which she founded also constructed, or moved, period houses to the borders of the park to achieve the view that we enjoy today. Queen Anne Square was dedicated in 1976.

By the mid-1980s, sea winds had battered Trinity Church so badly that it was in need of structural and decorative renovations. A local effort paid to install heavy anchors in the cemetery on the church's north side to brace the walls, and to restore the church to its colonial beauty.

The church is open to visitors Monday through Friday from 10 am to 12:30 pm, and of course on Sunday for Episcopal services.

Trinity Church
One Queen Anne Square (141 Spring St) (map)
Newport RI 02840
info@trinitynewport.org
Tel: 401-846-0660
Fax: 401-846-8440


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Trinity Church, Newport RI

Trinity Church, Newport RI.

Trinity Church, Newport RI

 

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