Suzassippi’s Mississippi: First Presbyterian Church of Water Valley

The First Presbyterian Church of Water Valley was established in 1843.  The Romanesque building was erected in 1896.  Romanesque Revival was a popular style in the late 1800s in Mississippi, particularly for Presbyterian and Methodist churches (Pace/Cawthon, Lost Churches of Mississippi, 2007).   Romanesque Revival churches during the 1880s and 1890s were characterized by:

…massive walls, square towers, and broad, low arches…(Cawthon, 2010)

The round arch–formed by a continuous curve in the shape of a semi-circle–was also characteristic of the style.  The Water Valley church  also features decorative terra cotta on the side entry and metal siding in the shape of shingles on the gables.  It appears to be strips of pressed metal, rather than actual shingles.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Categories: Building Types, Churches, Water Valley

12 replies

  1. Good close up shots! I hope someone on the vestry is a follower of MsPres and notices it’s time for some water/tsp sollution to gently clean the painted wood. Very beautiful.


  2. Oh wow pressed metal shingles, polychromatic brickwork, rubbed brickwork, stonework, and terracotta? Not to mention the woodwork and stained glass; this little building is a feast for the eyes!


    • Okay, my vocabulary just increased again…I can guess that polychromatic brickwork refers to the different colors, but what is rubbed brickwork? I know I can look it up, but it’s more fun if you tell us all.


      • hmm. OK. Master Mason Dr. Gerard Lynch defines Rubbed Brick work as “a term used to describe the superior finish required in the details of an important brickwork elevation, such as moulded reveals, arches, string courses and other forms of ornamentation. This is achieved through shaping the individual bricks to produce a high degree of regularity, accurate dimensions and extreme fineness in the joints.”

        Basically walls constructed of soft bricks are rubbed to achieve a fine smooth finish with narrow joints between courses. After these bricks have been laid, their surfaces harden with time. The rubbing brick is both laid differently and made differently than other clay bricks. The later of which is a lost process.


  3. oooh In the detail shot of the terracotta by the stairs you can see the “shiner” face of the brick has been used between the diamond shapes and the circle shapes terracotta pieces. Bricks can be so much fun!



  1. Red Shutters Redux « suzassippi: red shutters

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: