Built around 1740 of tabby construction this is one of the few Chapels of Ease the public still has access too. By some miracle there has been no theft or vandalism. A sad but true fact is all the other ruins of chapels are now behind fences.
Members of the Bull family, from Bull plantation, are buried in the nearby graveyard. The church and plantations were abandoned when news came of the invasion of Beaufort and Port Royal by Union troops during the Civil War.
During and immediately after the war the chapel was used to support the freemen (enslaved people suddenly free with no support).
A large forest fire on the island burned the structures and repairs were never done. Until the 1940’s when a bridge was built there was no access to this island other than small boats.
These photographs give a different perspective than the usual church architecture images.
Where the standard composition is l based on gazing forward, towards the alter, these are looking back out to the rear and sides of the church. This set was provided first to a Charleston historical group and several comments made a point of noticing the difference.
After the comments I reviewed articles on several other historical churches here and found the best photographic series made a point of displaying several different point of views.
Again, it’s most common to work forward only, yet so much is then missed these older buildings. This is something I need to remember when shooting the next series. The time available with an empty historical church is very limited. So … this is a note to self ‘shoot the other direction’.
All the historical churches have tall vaulted ceilings. Some are more ornate than others but the design is consistent.
The family wooden pews are also in most. This has helped keep great historical records on individual members and visitors. In one church the exact seat used by George Washington was easily identified, another was the Marquis de Lafayette.
Now that the pandemic lockdown has ended I think it’s time to visit a few more of the local manor houses also.
Photographed June 2, 2021, Huguenot Church, Charleston, South Carolina.