The authoritative source on
  early churches of New Jersey

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We've created a database and photographic inventory on more than half the 18th & 19th century churches in the state and add to it each month. We welcome and solicit all contributions and suggestions from our visitors.

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   Photographic Inventory

Presbyterian Church of Basking Ridge
Basking Ridge, Somerset County









Founded about 1717, this congregation hosted at least two meetings which drew thousands when James Davenport and George Whitefield spoke nearby in 1740, so it figured prominently in the Great Awakening, which got its start in the Raritan Valley.
     This stone building with a full Greek Revival portico was erected in 1839 on the town square. The Georgian steeple is a bit unusual on a Greek Revival church, but we find all kinds of interesting variations in New Jersey. Many of the individual parts were often picked up from plan books; some architect-builders got it right (as this one did), and some didn't. William Kirk is listed as the builder, as he is of another church with a full Greek portico, the Old Bergen Reformed church in Jersey City, erected also in 1839. By 1848 Kirk is recorded as the architect for at least three Reformed churches in Newark, all very nicely done.
     There is a large cemetery behind the church, and a smaller one to the east (right), which is dominated by a 600 year-old oak.
Listed on the National Register

See Dorothy Loa McFadden, Mildred VanDyke, and Eileen Johnston. The Presbyterian Church at Basking Ridge, N.J.: A History. [a publication of the church], 1989.




Copyright (c) 2001 Frank L. Greenagel