What’s the history of the stone church in New Preston?
The Stone Church—consecrated in 1824 and built of locally quarried grey gneiss, and grey marble—remains an august presence on a now-quiet hilltop green that made up New Preston’s original town center. Believed to have been a Christopher Wren design, the building is distinct for its lovely rubble pattern and for rare placement of the altar at the entrance of the main gallery.
The building is attended to by the Ecclesiatical Society of New Preston. The Meeting House is one of a three-stone triumvirate that also includes a schoolhouse and a tavern of the same period that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
If a church is its people, then this was a congregation that valued good music. Posey Whittlesey, current president of the Ecclesiastical Society, followed tradition by mounting many memorable candlelit concerts here in recent years.
This sleeping beauty is roused for weddings, funerals, and memorial services when the weather permits, and for services—on select holidays. It reigns as a special place, offering a glimpse of New Preston’s 18th-century history and values.