Cleora Barnes Thompson
Christ Church, Guilford
6800, , Oakland Mills Road, , Columbia, , Howard County
Christ Church was constructed in a Georgian style in 1809. The gable-front brick building on a fieldstone foundation is two bays wide and three deep. The exterior walls are of handmade brick laid in common bond with unmarked joints. Some salmon bricks were used as face bricks. There is a simple wood box cornice on both the north and south sides. A slight overhang exists on the west gable, but the barge is applied directly against the brick on the east gable. A small belfry at the west end is supported by four square wood columns that extend down to the gallery floor. The belfry appears to be a late addition. Two old chimneys once stood on the west end, and appear in c. 1938 photographs. They still survive inside at the gallery level, directly above the two west doors. A modern chimney on the east end serves the present furnace. There are three-part windows with double-hung sash on each side of the church and a three-part double-hung window high in each gable end. Brick jack arches support the masonry above all these windows. Windows on the sides have 12/12 sash except the two easternmost windows which have stained and painted glass dating from c. 1885-1915. The three-part windows have 9/9 sash flanked on each side by narrow 3/3 sash. The two double doors in the west end have four panels placed vertically in each door. Modern wood enframements, including a pediment around each door, covers a glazed transom over each which is visible from the interior. A c. 1938 photograph shows a cantilevered hood over each door, later additions perhaps contemporary with the belfry. A modern door cut into the east end opens onto a breezeway leading to the parish house. Attached to the east end is a frame sacristy on a stone foundation. It is slightly narrower than the church itself.
Just after the turn of the 18th century was a period of little physical growth in the Episcopal Church in Maryland. It had lost its government support and was low on funds, resulting in a time of little construction. For this same reason, the churches that were built were often economically designed, as is the case with Christ Church, Guilford. The only feature of architectural sophistication is the three-part window over the entrances, while on the interior the paneled gallery is a simple and direct interpretation of much larger churches of the 18th century in Philadelphia, London, and elsewhere. A small rectangular brick structure erected in 1809, Christ Church is in most respects closely related to the church architecture of 18th century Maryland.