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Makefield Meeting



Makefield Meeting was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The text, below, was adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [1] Adaptation copyright © 2009, The Gombach Group.

Description

Makefield Meeting is a two-story, gable-roofed structure of stucco-over stone construction. The meetinghouse has been continuously occupied since 1752. The original meetinghouse (at the eastern end of the present building) was a one-story stone structure measuring 25 x 30 ft. In 1764, a second story was added and the building was enlarged to its present dimensions.

The six-bay structure was thoroughly overhauled, plastered, and re-roofed in 1851. Porticoes on the south and west were added in that year. Fenestration, with the exception of the first floor windows on the east gable end, is six-over-six sash. These windows, from the earlier period, are nine-over-nine. The placement of windows and doors on the front elevation is symmetrical. First floor windows on the front have paneled shutters.

The interior of Makefield Meeting reflects the austerity of colonial life in this part of Pennsylvania. The east and west wings differ in the presence of pillars to support the balcony in the former and their absence in the latter. The building throughout is quite functional in character.

In 1787, a schoolmaster's house was erected on the property of the meeting. This two-and-one-half story gable-roofed structure is of stucco-over-stone construction, three bays in width. The house is presently used as a dwelling by the meeting's caretaker.

Also on the grounds stand sheds constructed ca. 1800 for the benefit of the numerous worshippers who arrived on horseback. Originally, the sheds stood to the west of the meetinghouse but were moved to their present location in 1858. In that year the sheds were re-roofed. In 1971, a restoration of the sheds was undertaken.

Makefield Meeting has been an important part of the religious and cultural life of Makefield Township, Bucks County, for over 220 years. The property on which the meetinghouse and adjacent buildings stand was granted in 1684 and donated by Thomas Harvey to Falls Meeting in 1752 for the purpose of establishing a meetinghouse on the site.

Significance

Makefield Meeting was a center of activity for the township's early colonial settlement. Six homes dating from before the Revolution stand on land included in the original Thomas Harvey grant. Many who attended Makefield Meeting were prominent in local political and economic affairs. Makefield Meeting is believed to be the oldest church in the area, remaining as its only church for over one hundred years. Descendants of many of the early inhabitants of Makefield Township maintained ownership of farmland in the area into the twentieth century.

The meetinghouse itself is a good example of local vernacular architecture, is quite functional in design, and remains well-preserved in substantially unchanged condition since the addition of the west wing in 1764. Its value as a reminder of early colonial culture in rural, southeastern Pennsylvania should not be underestimated.

  1. National Register of Historic Places, Nomination Document, Makefield Meeting, 1973, National Park Service, Washington DC

School District: Council Rock

See Map

Street Names: Dolington Road

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