The Old Sheldon Church Ruins are about a 20 minute drive outside of Beaufort, South Carolina.
Originally known as Prince William’s Parish Church, Sheldon Church was built between 1751-57 and is thought to be one of the first North American attempts at imitating a Greek temple.
Local British loyalists burned the church in 1779 during the Revolutionary War. It was rebuilt and then believed to be burned again during the last months of the Civil War in 1865 but it was later discovered that it was actually dismantled by local freeman and used to rebuild nearby homes. It was never rebuilt after that.
The ruins are nestled among beautiful moss-covered oak trees and scattered graves.
As we wandered around we realized that there were trees that appeared to have grown around brick pillars. We learned that the bricks were used to fill holes in the trees to slow down decay. With the sun breaking through the canopy, it all felt very magical.
If you’re driving down US-17, Old Sheldon Church is a must-see. It’s easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there (we drove right by as we were coming into town the first time) but once you step inside the grounds you can’t help but feel the magic and serenity it radiates.