Episcopal Burying Ground and Chapel

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Episcopal Burying Ground and Chapel

The Episcopal Burying Ground and Chapel (also known as the Old Episcopal Burying Ground (OEBG)) is located at 251 East Third Street, in Lexington, Kentucky. The land was purchased in 1832 by Christ Church as a burial ground for its parishioners. The cemetery became extremely important during the 1833 cholera epidemic, during which one third of the congregation died.

The burial ground also contains a small chapel that was built around 1867 and is thought to have been designed by notable Lexington architect John McMurtry. The small Carpenter Gothic chapel later became a sexton's cottage. On June 24, 1976, the burying ground and former chapel were added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The only person of color buried in the OEBG, is Rev. London Ferrell, a former slave who came to Kentucky in 1811 after the death of his owner. In 1821, he was ordained by the Elkhorn Baptist Association. Rev. Ferrell ministered to the black population of Lexington at the First African Church, now the First African Baptist Church. It was founded by Uncle Peter, also known as "Old Captain", a slave of Rev. Joseph Craig, who came to Kentucky with the Baptist members of The Traveling Church from Upper Spotsylvania, Virginia in 1781.

National Register listing
  • Episcopal Burying Ground and Chapel ** (added 1976 - Site - #76000869)
  • Also known as Old Episcopal Burying Ground and Chapel
  • 251 E. 3rd St., Lexington
  • Historic Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering
  • Architect, builder, or engineer: Wilgus,G.D.
  • Architectural Style: Other, Gothic Revival
  • Area of Significance: Architecture, Social History, Religion, Art
  • Period of Significance: 1825-1849, 1850–1874
  • Owner: Private
  • Historic Function: Funerary, Religion
  • Historic Sub-function: Cemetery, Religious Structure
  • Current Function: Domestic, Funerary
  • Current Sub-function: Cemetery, Single Dwelling
Current status

The cemetery is not regularly open to the public but private tours can be given by appointment by calling 859-254-2948.