Presbyterian Church of Basking Ridge
Basking Ridge, Somerset County
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.