Biggin Church Ruins – Along the Road Less Traveled

Biggin Church Ruins – Along the Road Less Traveled

Way down in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, not too far from Moncks Corner, and just a stone’s throw from the Cooper River lies the Biggin Church Ruins. It was constructed in 1711 to serve as the church for the Parish of St John’s Berkley. The church also served as a meeting place where the civil matters of colonial South Carolina’s largest parish were handled.

Biggin Church Ruins photo


Unfortunately, the church burned in a forest fire in the mid 1700s, the first of three destructive fires. Biggin Church was replaced with a new building in 1761.

Biggin Church Ruins photo

British troops occupied the church during the Revolutionary War and used it as an ammunition depot. As they were forced to retreat, the Redcoats burned the church and the stores for a second time.

Biggin Church Ruins photo

Soon, the parish church was rebuilt again and served its community continuously up to the Civil War. During the war it was neglected and fell into disrepair. Damaged and stripped of its pews and fixtures, the church burned for the last time in another forest fire around 1890. During the turbulent Reconstruction period following the war, its bricks were scavenged for other uses.

Biggin Church Ruins photo

Parts of two walls and the cemetery are all that are left. The architecture of the church is quite sophisticated for its time including arched windows and quoins at the corners, all constructed from brick.

Biggin Church Ruins photo

There are several underground vaults on the church grounds. Some say the vaults were used as dungeons by the British to hold American patriots. The tombs have never been excavated. One can only wonder what may actually be in them and what other secrets the Biggin Church and its cemetery hold.

Biggin Church Ruins photo

I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference

___Robert Frost

Getting off the beaten path and on the road less traveled makes for pleasant surprises. Who knows what bit of little known history or mystery awaits you around the next bend.

Biggin Church Ruins photo

Recently, while exploring the swamps and marshes of coastal South Carolina, we learned of the ruins of several pre-Revolutionary War churches, Biggin Church being one. Previously I wrote about the Sheldon Church Ruins. I will be telling you about the three other church ruins we had discovered in the coming days.

Ron Mayhew

Fine Art Photographer specializing in Still Life and Commercial Photography.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Ron, these ruins are amazing. I love your black and white photos of them; the whole series is very atmospheric, ghostly, even. Appropriate given the history! I look forward to coming along to explore more of your ruins. 🙂

    1. Thank you Cathy. We are going back to the area for more photography in a few weeks and hopefully I’ll publish a book on the series when complete.

  2. Great atmospheric photos, Ron. The church has a very tragic history. If walls could talk, I’m sure these would tell some harrowing tales.

    1. The church has quite a history for sure, but even more amazing that it is still standing. Thanks Sylvia.

  3. There is something about history when you see it right in front of you ~ these photos definitely do it justice (the B&W captures great contrast). Coming from the Pacific Northwest, difficult to connect to this part of US history. Great verse and photos.

    1. I can see how it would be difficult to connect. Yet, the U.S. has such a short history compared to most of the world. Thanks for your comment on the B&W.

      1. Agree, it is strange at times to come across ruins that are thousands of years old elsewhere in the world ~ versus a few hundred in the USA ~ but then it is always incredible to see how men, just a few generations removed for us today, dealt with the opportunity/risk of the New World.

  4. Another wonderful post Ron. It’s ticking me off that you’re exploring more of my “neighborhood” than I am :-). I gotta get out and shoot my own backyard LOL!

    1. You know, the grass and the shooting is always better somewhere else. 🙂 Thank you Tina.

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