This is a brief excerpt from my book, Shore Fun! The Wanderer’s Guide to Delmarva. It’s one of more than 125 destinations described in the book. While this particular destination has one stop, many others have multiple stops, like in towns or along certain stretches of backroad. The other half of the book is a guide to 150-plus annual events, organized by seasons.
The Ruins of Coventry
If you head north from Pocomoke City, Md., entering Somerset County along Route 13, take the left onto Route 667 (Rehobeth Road) and you will soon be winding this way and that before turning onto Coventry Parish Road and coming upon the ruins of an old church by that name.
Just three brick walls remain standing at Coventry Parish (pictured above and below), which was built in the late 1780s. The photo up top here is from 1967, the experts got to work trying to stabilize the ruins of Coventry Parish so that folks like us could wander the halls. The photo near here shows what those walls look like today.
Those post-revolutionary years were tumultuous times in American religious history. The British Anglican Church that formerly ruled the roost in Maryland fell on hard times due to its association with the losing side. This building was part of the effort to reinvent that faith as an all-American institution, the Episcopal Church. Folks worshipped at Coventry for a century before abandoning the place in the late 1800s.
The nearby Rehobeth Presbyterian Church (pictured below) is chock full of history as well. Believed to be the country’s oldest Presbyterian church building in continuous use, it was erected in 1706. The “Father of American Presbyterianism,” Francis Makemie, probably preached here.
If you’d like information on other things to do in the area, search the internet for Somerset County (Md.) Tourism (the Crisfield area, or Princess Anne) and Worcester County (Md.) Tourism (Pocomoke City). Scroll down for a couple of extra photos.
If you’d like information about the book Shore Fun!–or my other books about travel, history, and culture in the region–well, here you go.
–posted by Jim Duffy on Aug. 8, 2023 for Secrets of the Eastern Shore and Whimbrel Creations, LLC. All rights reserved. Thank you for spending a little time on this site!