This is the third building to house the Episcopal congregation of St. Anne's Church. The second church was completed in 1792 and burned in 1858. As noted on a plaque just inside the front door, Francis Scott Key attended service at St. Anne's during his years of schooling in Annapolis.
When Governor Francis Nicholson designed Annapolis' city plan in 1695, he laid out two circles on the highest points of the city for the institutions of church and state. The first St. Anne's Church stood here from 1704 until it was razed in 1775 to make room for a larger one. The timing was unfortunate as the Revolution broke out that same year. The bricks and timber stockpiled for the new church were commandeered to build forts at the mouth of the Severn River to defend the city against the British.
The new church was built and consecrated in 1792. This second Church was larger and architecturally more sophisticated than its plain predecessor. It was destroyed by fire in 1858. The Bible, Prayer Book, and old Communion silver (still used today) were saved. The third and present church was constructed a year later. A plaque inside the church entrance traces the history.
Another plaque notes that Francis Scott Key attended St. Anne's Church during his years of schooling at St. John's College. Best known as the author of "The Star-Spangled Banner," the devout Key also wrote the hymns "Lord, With Glowing Heart I'd Praise Thee," and "Before the Lord We Bow" and he was Vice President of the American Bible Society.
Six known veterans of the war of 1812 are buried in St. Anne's Cemetery which is at the western end of Northwest Street.