History of Twenty-Five Main Street

25 Main Street

Historic or Common Name: Peterborough Unitarian Church 

Construction: 1825-1826/1926/1905

Description: 3-bay x 3-bay brick nave church, blind arches flanked by brick pilasters on façade, recessed arched bays w/windows and semi-circular fans on long elevations, three-stage steeple clock tower, slate roof 1926 Brick Parish House at rear, gable roof Carriage sheds, 15 stalls, 1905

Notes: First Parish Church, Unitarian since 1827. Unknown architect, based on Asher Benjamin. Master builder Mr. Kilburn. Bell 1828, Roof slated 1853, 1st Town clock 1856, new 1947. Morison Parish house on rear 1926 Little & Russell.

Contributing/Non Contributing: N[ational] R[egister] listed 1973 

SOURCE: Driemeyer, Laura; Laprey, Kari; Monroe, Lynn; and Hill, Teresa. New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources, Area Form, Peterborough Downtown Historic District, June 2010, page 98

History and Architecture

The present meeting house was built in 1825, superseding two former and more modest meeting houses on Old Street Road. The exterior of the church is virtually unchanged, except for the addition in 1926 of the Parish Hall and in 1995 of the provisions for handicapped access outside as well as inside. The church was the work of local craftsmen and artisans who drew upon designs of Asher Benjamin, a leading exponent of the Bullfinch style. There have been changes in the interior from time to time. In 1898 the lectern and high pulpit with suspended sounding board replaced an original mahogany center pulpit and plain front wall which displayed figures of St. Peter and St. Paul. Most recently, the entire Religious Education space has been thoroughly renovated. 

The present building is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places.

SOURCE: http://uupeterborough.org

THE UNITARIAN-UNIVERSALIST CHURCH was built in 1825 on the orchard of Richard Finch, a British army deserter. This beautiful Federal style church is on the National Historic Register. Although the architect is unknown, it is reminiscent of the style of Charles Bullfinch. (Bullfinch himself could not have designed the church as he was engaged in the construction  of the United States Capitol from 1817 until 1830). Behind the church are the horse sheds and carriage stalls that were so essential in earlier times.

SOURCE: A Walking Tour of PETERBOROUGH New Hampshire

The present meeting house was built in 1825, superseding two former and more modest meeting houses on Old Street Road. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 23, 1973.

23 [sic 25] Main Street

150th Anniversary of the church
Morison Memorial Parish House erected.
Monadnock Summer Lyceum

Town Clock

First Clock
Present Clock

SOURCE: Our Chamging Town, Vol II, page 396