The archaeological remains of the 1617 church are fragmentary, but digital 3-dimensional (3-D) modeling has been used to visualize the building’s appearance as it looked when the first General Assembly met there from July 30 through August 4, 1619. The church is the first building being re-created as part of the Virtual Fort project, a larger initiative to show James Fort at significant periods in its history.

To create the model, the team analyzed the surviving archaeological and historical evidence in the context of 17th-century building practices and church architecture. Some features of the building, such as the sizes and locations of windows, will always be speculative, but the modeling process has led to an improved understanding of the building’s architecture. The interior furnishings are based upon surviving contemporary examples from English churches.

The space has been furnished as it would have been during the first General Assembly. Written accounts of the proceedings provide important clues as to the positioning of the governor, his council, and the burgesses within the church.

related images

Click on the images below to see the progression of the modelling process, starting from a simple structure through to a fully-textured model.