Michael O. Bourne
Christ Church, Graveyard and Sexton's House
Fairlee Still Pond Road (MD 298), Smithville Road (MD 297), Worton, Kent County
Christ Church I.U. is a small brick structure, basilican in plan, with a narrower sanctuary appended to its western end. The building is constructed entirely of common bond brick. The entrance facade which is the eastern gable end is three bays wide consisting of a centrally placed, pointed arched doorway flanked by two pointed arched windows. The recessed double doors are surmounted by a wide wooden lintel and arched transom. Above the door in the center of the gable is a bullseye window. The windows and door are provided with louvered shutters which open side to side and fixed pointed arch louvers at the top portion of the arched openings. Sills of Port Deposit granite elaborate window and door surrounds and project slightly from the wall plane. Brick pilasters are located at either side of the facade and join at the corners with pilasters at the end of each longitudinal face of the building. The southern and northern facades of the building consist of four equal-sized bays separated by five brick pilasters terminating in wooden corbel caps and each containing a pointed arch window. All windows are double hung with 6/6 lights surmounted by lanceted sash. A bracketed cornice with blank frieze runs the length of the building. Chimneys are located at the central pilaster of each longitudinal facade. A lower asymmetrically gabled chancel with a shed-roofed extension on the west facade houses the sanctuary and the sacristy, the latter of which is accessible through a lancet arched doorway with corresponding Gothic detailing in the transom. At the center of the west wall and corresponding to the altar position in the interior of the sanctuary is a double lancet window protected on the exterior by paneled shutters. Glazed headers are used to trim the segments of the pointed arch of the window surround and also appear in the letters "I" and "U" located in either side of the window at the spring line of the arch. A smaller similarly detailed window located on the north wall of the sacristy also illuminates the apse. Another pointed arched window smaller still and closer to ground level pierces the west wall of the sacristy. The Sexton's house at Christ Church dates from the period of the earlier church and consists of two adjoining sections, one brick and one stone, both one story high with dormers. The brick section, laid in common bond upon a stone foundation, is three bays in length. The westernmost of the three windows on the building’s south facade replaces what was once the principal entrance door. The north side of the roof bears a single 6/6 sash shed-roofed dormer above the easternmost which corresponds in configuration to the two dormers above the east and west outside windows on the south facade. The east gable end frames a large interior wall fireplace whose chimney, covered in stucco, rises above the roofline. The frame section, a subsequent clapboarded addition to the west gable end of the brick dwelling, contains on the south facade what is now the entrance to the building, a doorway flanked on the west side by a small window and accessible by a flight of wooden steps. Another shed-roofed dormer is placed atop the entrance bay. The north facade is articulated in the same fashion as the south: door flanked on the west side by a window and surround with the same shed dormer. The boxed cornice which overhangs the longitudinal sides by about 13" unifies both facades. The entire building is painted white with some glazed bricks showing through beneath the paint.
Christ Church represents a well-proportioned example of a small Gothic Revival structure interpreted in brick, the most popular local building material. It is fortuitously sited in the middle of a pre-existing churchyard and retains its precious rural character in this setting. Its exterior detailing, while relatively straightforward in accordance with the modest scale of the building, is executed in an appealing crispness and clarity. The unaltered interior space is characteristically light, accented with fine carved woodwork in an excellent state of preservation.