Christ Church Burns in 1963
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Written by SeacoastNH Archive Presents  
Historic Portsmouth #379

For a city that stays the same, things really change in Portsmouth. The original Christ Church started as a mission to local factory workers. The cornerstone to the Gothic-revival building was laid in 1880 on St. John’s Day. The ornate building was dedicated on July 3, 1883. The church gained world-wide attention when foreign dignitaries attended services here during negotiations for the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905. (Continued below)



But the church burned in a dramatic fire in 1963 as parishioners watched. Today the site on Madison Street is occupied by an apartment complex. Christ Episcopal Church moved to 1035 Lafayette Road In 1967 and built a new church on a parcel of land donated by John Elwyn-Stone. The site also contains a cemetery where enslaved Africans who worked for the Langdon family are buried. The church retains a commitment to issues of peace and social justice. (Photos courtesy Portsmouth Athenaeum)