Old Sheldon Church Ruins Are Protected

Old Sheldon Church Ruins
A black metal fence protects the Old Sheldon Church Ruins.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

One of the lowcountry’s most photographed sites gained several feet of protection. In an effort to preserve and protect the Old Sheldon Church, a locked fence has been placed around the ruins. Visitors can still visit the site but cannot pass through the iconic columns and brick arches.

Old Sheldon Church Ruins gated for protection
A locked gate secures the ruins.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The church is owned by the Parish Church of St. Helena. They have been researching ways to preserve the ruins from rapid decay. The historic structure has fallen victim to vandalism by way of desecrating tombstones, graffiti, brick removal and destruction.

The Parish Church of St. Helena has plans to bring in docents on site to lead tours through the beautiful ruins. Restoration work will shortly begin first. Walking paths will be placed within the interior portion of the ruins. Walking through the brick archways will only be possible with professional supervision to ensure damage is not done to the structure.

Old Sheldon Church Ruins gated for protection
The new fence is simulated to resemble iron.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

This early example of Greek Revival stands as a testament to master craftsmanship and has had a very interesting life. The South Carolina Picture Project wrote a great article about its storied past.  A tablet located on the grounds reads: “Church of Prince William’s Parish, known as Sheldon, built between 1745-1755. Burned by the British Army 1779. Rebuilt 1826. Burned by the Federal Army 1865. Another sign states: “Old Sheldon is not a recreational area or playground.”

As visitors to this site we must respect this sacred and historically significant lowcountry gem. We must also understand, and not be offended by the fence. Protecting this structure for future generations is critical. The efforts of St. Helena should be applauded and appreciated.

For more information on Yemassee are attractions visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/yemassee-day-trips/ .