First referred to as Lynchburg Hill, this area became known as Court House Hill soon after the first courthouse was erected on its crest in 1813. This area and Downtown has historically served as the center of government, business, finance, and religious activity in Lynchburg since the city’s establishment in the eighteenth century. In the town’s early years, government and public buildings, including the local courthouse, began to appear in this section along with prestigious homes. The first courthouse was constructed on a prominent hill in 1813 and was replaced with the current Greek Revival style courthouse in 1851. This courthouse also was designed with a prominent staircase leading down the hill to Church Street. Water Street (9th Street) emerged as the main corridor of the area, and residents established churches of various denominations in the district.
The Court House Hill Historic District consists of blocks along Court Street, between 5th and 12th Streets. The district contains many architectural styles, a city museum, and a variety of churches. After 1880, large Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Episcopal churches were built on Court and Clay Streets in the Romanesque and Gothic Revival Styles. Court Street was also one of the first streets in the city to be paved in brick in 1895.