4.5
447 votes

Old Sheldon Church Ruins

Old Sheldon Church Rd, Yemassee, South Carolina 29945 USA

  • Independent
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“Ruined Grandeur”

The Old Sheldon Church Ruins is a historic site located in northern Beaufort County, South Carolina, approximately 17 miles (30 km) north of Beaufort in the Sheldon area. Known also as the Sheldon Church or Old Sheldon Church, the pre-existing building was originally known as Prince William's Parish Church. The church was built in the Greek Revival style between 1745 and 1753. Prince William's was burned by the British in 1779 during the Revolutionary War. In 1826 it was rebuilt and later burnt by William Sherman, in 1865, as told by signs at the site. An alternative view has more recently come to light, however. In a letter dated February 3, 1866, Miton Leverett wrote that "Sheldon Church not burn't. Just torn up in the inside, but can be repaired." The inside of the church was apparently gutted to reuse materials to rebuild homes burnt by Sherman's army. The ruins lie amongst majestic oaks and scattered graves. Inside the ruins of the church lies the remains of Colonel William Bull, who "greatly assisted General Oglethorpe in establishing the physical layout of Savannah, Georgia. Bull surveyed the land in 1733 to form the basic grid pattern of the streets and squares." The site has proven to be a popular site in the lowcountry for photographers and wedding ceremonies in contemporary times. An annual service is held the second Sunday after Easter.

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Reviewed by
Sarah Parent

  • 87 Reviews
  • 60 Helpful
August 31, 2014
Rated 5.0

Absolutely gorgeous, and close enough to the highway to make it an easy pit stop. Very hushed and melancholy, definitely has an otherworldly feel. There are picnic tables if you want to bring lunch. We had the place to ourselves.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
bose828

  • 3 Reviews
  • 3 Helpful
July 25, 2014

Beautiful!!! no problems finding and open access w historical marker. just a reminder sign of it being sacred grounds.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Small-Ami-Big-World

  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
December 22, 2013

Throughout her childhood, my mother constantly picnicked here. Every time we head down south to visit the relatives, she manages to drive past the old place and points it out to us. It's a local secret that several families have enjoyed over the decades.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
shockrina

  • 4 Reviews
  • 3 Helpful
August 24, 2013

Beware of mosquitos but otherwise a gorgeous place!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Nadja

  • 7 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
August 01, 2013

Wonderful. Was surprised to be not the only ones there.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
JaschCrew

  • 5 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
December 28, 2021
Rated 5.0

Worth a quick stop. We enjoyed walking around the ruins. The history here is palpable.

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Reviewed by
catranspot

  • 5 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
September 22, 2020

Great stop on our road trip! It’s unusual to see preserved ruins in the US.

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Reviewed by
Passepartout

  • 139 Reviews
  • 27 Helpful
August 05, 2018
Rated 3.0

A lovely spot for wedding pictures, & other sorts of photographic indulgences. Plenty of parking across the road. I was there on a Saturday but, with a little patience (not my strongest suit), was still able to get some good shots without throngs of people in them.

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Reviewed by
JenniferDodge

  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
July 10, 2016
Rated 5.0

This site was amazing! A must see for sure. I would recommend going out of your way to visit this site. Gorgeous! I highly recommend hiking shoes, it's quite muddy, also bring the bug repellent. There is a public lands lot right across from the entrance where you can park. When we went there was also a small ramp for handicap access to the site. Though I would say it would be difficult to get a wheelchair or stroller around the area because of the mud. I could have spent hours here.

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Reviewed by
s.kneale.taylor

  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
July 10, 2016
Rated 5.0

Gorgeous! Absolute MUST!

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Old Sheldon Church Ruins

Old Sheldon Church Rd
Yemassee, South Carolina
29945 USA

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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