Cute as a button, Old Devonshire Church (106 Middle Rd., tel. 441/236-4906 after 5 p.m., tours 10:30 a.m. Wed., admission free), a pint-sized, whitewashed example of pure Bermudian architecture, dates back to 1624, when the original structure was built. The first was thatched in palmetto and destroyed by the hurricane of 1715; the current version was rebuilt of limestone the following year.
Interestingly, the church’s construction demonstrates the same techniques employed by those who crafted ships of the era. Various enlargements were made over the years, but the plain style beloved by early parishioners was kept.
Centuries later, Old Devonshire Church suffered severe damage in a 1970 fire, but reconstruction was faithful to its original and very simple design—a marked contrast to the Gothic revival of the nearby Christ Church, built by the parish in 1851 when the old church was too small to hold the growing congregation.
Notable in the historic building’s interior is a Bermuda cedar screen decorated with quaint hearts and fleurs-de-lis. The pulpit and pews are also of cedar. Outside, the graveyard holds the tombs of parish residents and an 1817 hearse house built in the style of the church. Surrounded by climbing roses, flaming poinsettia plants, and old cedars, Old Devonshire Church is popular for candlelit weddings, and carol services are an annual calendar staple.