First Parish Church, Dover, New Hampshire


Founded in 1633, First Parish Church is the oldest congregation in the state of New Hampshire. The church’s fifth home, a Federal style brick structure modeled after St. John’s Church in nearby Portsmouth, was designed and built by Captain James Davis in 1825. While the interior has undergone extensive changes since the building’s construction, the sanctuary remains relatively intact since 1878 when the current arced slip pews were installed and the side galleries were removed. Nevertheless, the exterior has undergone few changes since its construction. Donald Bryant, the author of The History of the First Parish Church, wrote that with all of the significant changes to the city of Dover since the church’s founding, “no buildings and no institutions [remain] except the First Parish Church. In the fabric of Dover’s history it continues as the single living thread that runs from the beginning to the present and will run unbroken into the future.”

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