In recent years, the Jamestown Rediscovery team has been excavating outside of the Memorial Church to learn more about the 1617 church as well as the two later 17th-century churches built on the same site. The church constructed beginning in 1617 was Jamestown’s second church and is where representative government in English America began with the convening of the first General Assembly from July 30 to August 4, 1619. After finishing several units on the north and south sides of the building, the archaeological team is now exploring in front of the church tower. Previous excavations in this area revealed several interesting features that may help to shed light on the church’s surroundings as Jamestown grew and changed over the course of the 17th century.
In 2019, the Memorial Church reopened after undergoing two years of excavations within the building’s interior followed by the installation of a new floor and exhibits. The updated space reflects the original footprint of the 1617 church. Additional exhibit components explain more about the original church and the significance of the First Assembly.
Archaeologists are on site daily, weather permitting, from 9:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 4:00pm.
The Knight’s Tombstone
The Knight’s Tombstone, a black limestone ledger stone from the 1617 church, has now been returned to its original location within the church following conservation treatment.