Edenton Courthouse, Built 1767 and Renovated 2004

Edenton CourthouseOn October 8, 2004, the Chowan County Courthouse reopened to the public after years of renovation. The majestic courthouse, completed in 1767 in Edenton, is considered the finest example of Georgian architecture in the South.

While the architect remains anonymous, many have speculated that either Gilbert Leigh, known to have worked on many houses in the area, or John Hawks, best known for Tryon Palace, supervised construction.

Overlooking Edenton Bay, the building features Flemish bond brickwork and a slightly projecting three-bay entrance pavilion crowned by a classical pediment. The interior consists of two floors, the bottom a courtroom with a large magistrate’s chair in the center. English ballast stones pave the ground floor and, in lieu of paint, the plain walls were whitewashed.

Edenton CourthouseThe top floor, an assembly hall, was one of the largest during the colonial period. Beginning in 1778, the hall hosted the Masons of Unanimity #7, an order to which George Washington belonged. 

Necessary utilities were incorporated through the years, including telephones, electricity and plumbing services. Although Edenton constructed a modern courthouse in 1979, the historic Chowan County Courthouse remains in use and open to the public.

Visit: Historic Edenton State Historic Site, which includes the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse.

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