Insider's Guide - 1630's English Chamber Organ - Oldest Organ in America

This is the definitive Insider’s Guide to enjoying the most during your visit to St. Luke’s Historic Church & Museum, Virginia’s Oldest Church Building & Open Cemeteries. Let us know if you have any further questions.

Are holiday weekends and touring seasons popular?

Yes, so plan to arrive at least 20 minutes before the top of the hour to give yourself time to visit the restrooms, select your special souvenirs from our boutique Gift Shop, and stroll the manicured grounds and cemeteries before your tour.

What if I’m running late for the top of the hour tour?

No worries! You will have the option of either joining the tour that is already underway or visiting with us until the next tour.

Why does the Museum charge?

St. Luke’s is a 501(c)(3) education-based, nonprofit organization that does not receive any funding from local, state, or federal governments. All funding comes from private corporations, individuals, and foundations – and from folks like you. We are not part of any park system. The 45-minute guided tours provided by professionally-trained public historians are very valuable and require a great deal of research. We hope you enjoy the service they provide. Any additional generous gifts of financial support are greatly appreciated to help our Annual Fund.

Are there special exhibits/experiences?

Throughout the year, St. Luke’s hosts a myriad of monthly events. Events range from living history events to academic presentations. Information on these can be found on our website calendar by clicking here, on our Facebook Page, or in-person at our site.

Are there blackout dates for promotions?

Blackout dates may apply so please read the fine print where applicable. Promotions and discounts may not apply during Special Events. Please contact us for more information.

Is there an additional fee for special events, community events, and academic symposia?

Special Events are included in the general admission price so join us for a day of fun for the price of a tour. The price of admission for Community Events varies. Some may be free while others carry an additional fee. Symposia, on the other hand, require the advance purchase of a ticket.

How long should I expect to spend at the Museum?

We suggest that you plan to spend a minimum of an hour and a half at Historic St. Luke’s. This gives you just enough time to go on our tour of the beautiful church building, wander our sprawling 100-acre grounds, and check out our boutique Gift Shop.

The top 10 artifacts to see at the Museum?

There are permanent and temporary/rotating exhibits at Historic St. Luke’s.  What we recommend as the top 10 artifacts are on permanent exhibit.  On a quarterly basis we rotate our temporary exhibits to highlight rarer or more delicate artifacts from our collection.  The following list helps illustrate how St. Luke’s has a continuous history since its inception.

  1. 1890s Refectory – The Altar made for the 1880s church building restoration
  2. 1690/1720 Bowl/Basin – Used as our basin the 1957 Baptismal Font
  3. 1690/1730 Wainscott Table Chair or Monk’s Table Bench – Multiple purpose domestic furniture
  4. 1880s Stained glass windows – New York and German-made windows depicting Christian figures and local and national history
  5. 17th-century “Spanish Capstan” Brass Candlesticks
  6. 1630 Chamber Organ – Oldest Organ in North America
  7. 1610/1650 Credence Table – Where communion elements are kept until consecration
  8. 1919 Great War Memorial Brass Altar Cross and Vases – Remembering fallen Isle of Wight servicemen
  9. 1650 “Bolles Collection” and 1630 Wainscot Chairs – Interpretive Minister Chairs
  10. 1650 Table – Interpretive Refectory Table or Altar

The best activities for younger visitors (ages 10 and under)?

Our Special Events are geared towards the entertainment of families, including your younger members. Be sure to see our Events Calendar or sign up for our E-newsletter to receive regular updates of the goings-on at St. Luke’s Historic Church & Museum.

Visit on a weekday!

St. Luke’s is open 7 days a week for your convenience. The tours are generally smaller during the week so consider joining us on a weekday for a more personal experience.

Should I order tickets ahead of time?

Depends. We encourage you to purchase Special Event and Academic Lecture Tickets ahead of time as seating is limited. You can purchase these via our website or by phone. Tour Tickets are available at the Welcome Center’s gift shop, The Shop at The Old Brick Church”, and do not require purchase ahead of time.

Policies to remember when in the general exhibition.

  • LED Digital Flash Photography is welcomed – please share and tag us on social media
  • So all guests may have an enjoyable tour experience please silence or turn-off electronic devices during the tour
  • Please refrain from eating, drinking, and chewing gum during the tour
  • Feel free to sit in the church pews should you need to rest
  • Please refrain from touching any artifacts.  They are quite old and suffer from touching and handling.
  • Wheelchairs and strollers are allowed and accessible into the church building
  • Although we operate as an historical site and museum we are also a consecrated site.  We ask your observance of and assistance in exhibiting respectful behaviour.  Thank you.

May I photograph the artifacts/exhibits?

Digital Photography is welcome and we encourage you to post your photos to Social Media as St. Luke’s manages profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Please remember to tag us in your post and help #SaveHistory.

What about the entrance and parking for visitors coming by car or bus?

We have a sizable parking lot that can accommodate your parking needs. If you have any concerns, please contact us by phone (757) 357-3367 so that we may plan for your visit.

For any other questions please contact us at contact@historicstlukes.org, or give us a call at (757) 357-3367.