Old Sheldon Church Ruins Near Beaufort in South Carolina

The Old Sheldon Church ruins near Beaufort on the South Carolina coast aren't on any map, but this peaceful and picturesque site is worth a visit if you're ever in the area.

Originally known as the Church of Prince William's Parish, the building was built between 1745 and 1755. It's considered one of the first Greek temple imitations in America.

The British army burned it in 1779 during the Revolutionary War. The church was rebuilt in 1826 and renamed Sheldon Church of Prince William's Parish. It was burned again by General Sherman's troops in 1865 during the Civil War.

Members of St. Helena's Episcopal Church in Beaufort maintain the well-kept ruins. I was particularly impressed by the distinctive Tuscan pillars and the 3-1/2-foot-thick brick walls.

Old Sheldon Church is northwest of Beaufort. From town, take U.S. Highway 21 north until it meets U.S. Highway 17. Turn west on Highway 17, and in about 500 yards, turn north onto Sheldon Church Road and follow the signs.

Since 1925, St. Helena's has been holding an annual service at the ruins on the second Sunday after Easter.

For further information, call the Greater Beaufort Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-638-3525 or log on to beaufortchamber.org.

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