Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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The Graveyard

 The 1698 grave of

John Stretchley, Gentleman


The Memorial Garden


The grave of Julia Rock

 View of the cemetery





The graveyard surrounding the church is one of the most picturesque graveyards in the Northern Neck.  Situated on the westward-facing slope of a wooded hill, the graveyard contains over 750 graves that date back well over 300 years.  The oldest marked grave is that of "John Stretchley,  Gentleman", who died in 1698.  However, we know that there are a number of earlier, unmarked graves, including that of the Rev. Benjamin Doggett, the first full-time Rector, who died in 1682.  He was buried near the altar inside the church as it existed at that time - in an area which is now just outside of the eastern wall of the existing church.  

 Our graveyard includes the resting places of many other notable residents of Lancaster County, including a number of the members of the Ball family, maternal kin of George Washington.  Also buried here is Robert Opie Norris, Jr, who served for 16 years in the Virginia House of Delegates, and for 20 years in the Virginia State Senate.  It is he for whom the Norris Bridge in White Stone is named.   

 Also included are the graves of over 115 veterans from every war that America fought in, from the Revolutionary War to Viet Nam, except the Mexican War.  There are 13 Civil War veterans, 12 Confederates, and one Union.  Included in the Confederate veterans is one of the 247 VMI cadets who fought at the Battle of New Market in the Shenandoah Valley.  

  Probably our most famous "resident" is Margaret Brooke Sullavan Wagg, a stage and film actress during the 1930's through the 1950's.  She preferred the stage, but made sixteen movies, four of which were opposite Jimmy Stewart.  She was nominated in 1938 for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Three Comrades.  She descended from an old and prominent Lancaster County family, and spent much time here as a child.

  During your visit to our historic church, please take some time to stroll through our graveyard.  You'll find it to be very peaceful.  You may download the map or cemetery list (updated April 2023):



More informantion is available at findagrave.com:

Saint Mary's Whitechapel Episcopal Churchyard in Lancaster, Virginia - Find a Grave Cemetery