York Town Square

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Get around to seeing southeastern York County’s ornate Round Hill church

In one well-researched book, Ron Hershner helped Round Hill Presbyterian Church celebrate its 250th anniversary this year and made a real contribution toward helping others understand the county.
Hershner, a York attorney who has authoritatively written on his native southeastern York County, worked through the Cross Roads church’s long history in his 125-plus-page “Round Hill Presbyterian Church, 250 Years of Faith.” He thereby raised the profile of church’s architecturally significant building. (To order, see http://www.yorkheritage.org).

Round Hill’s 105-year-old building is simply beautiful, a treasure kind of hidden in a heretofore remote part of the county. And Round Hill has long been confused with nearby Hopewell United Presbyterian Church. (Round Hill is closer to the cross roads that give the town its name.)
Here’s a suggestion for a great Sunday afternoon ride in southeastern York County: Get Hershner’s book or print out the following description from the publication (courtesy of Historic York), travel to Cross Roads, pull off in front of the church and digest the features of this ornate country church:

This very ornamental church was built of yellow brick in a Latin cross plan. Its slate roof features one corbeled brick chimney and a central, polygonal cupola. Each of the gables facing north, south and west, end in a kick, and the north (front) gable also has a shaped peak. The roof extending to the east is hipped, and has two gable dormers on its east elevation and a hip dormer with paired, 12-light sash on its north elevation. The hip dormer is located above the main entrance, which is recessed between the front gable and a polygonal extension. The roof of the latter is decorated with cresting. The Gothic, stained glass windows are linked together by a corbeled belt course and decorative drip molds. The three larger windows in the front gable have tracery designs and are topped with a small, stained glass rose window. The three-story, square bell tower is located in the corner between the north and west gables. Built with stone quoins, the tower flares out slightly towards the ground. Its Gothic, double-door entrance repeats the church’s belt course and drip mold design. Just above the door are three oculus windows with stone, wreathlike surrounds. These are topped by a stained glass lancet window and three more oculus windows. The open belfry features pointed arches; a wide cornice decorated with modillions; and a pyramidal, asphalt roof with a finial. Gothic architecture is quite prominent in East Hopewell Township. This Victorian church is an excellent example of that form. It has good integrity and displays more ornate stylistic elements than any other building in the area.
So, add Round Hill Presbyterian Church to the list of unsung artifacts and sites. The previous list (key word search posts under York Town Square archives):
— The Little Courthouse
— Prospect Hill Cemetery
— War Mothers Memorial
— Work War II USO at former York County Academy gymnasium
— York’s Salem Square soldiers monument
— York’s Cookes House
— York’s rowhouses
— Wrightsville’s monuments
— The Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge
— Memorial trees along highways Route 30 & Susquehanna Trail.
— The Inches
— Camp Stewartstown
— The Wrightsville Bridge supports
— New York Wire Co.’s factory whistle
— Mary Ann Furnace
— York’s Hartman Building
— Hanover’s Iron Mike and The Picket
— York’s Eberts Lane
— Helen Reeves Thackston Memorial Park
— WW II defense worker housing
— Shiloh’s former town square
— Loucks one-room school
— Red Lion’s Fairmount Park
— Carlisle Avenue Market House
— York’s Fairmount Neighborhood
— Ma & Pa Railroad, Muddy Creek Forks draw fans
— Delta’s slate clock and Mainline Museum
— Spring Grove’s top-of-class museum