Circular Congregation Church & Cemetery

150 Meeting ST

Charleston, SC 29401


Phone: (843) 577-6400

City: Charleston

Region: Coastal & Islands

Circular Congregation Church & Cemetery

This congregation was founded at the same time as the relocation of Charles Towne to its present site. The earliest records of the church were lost in an early 18th century hurricane, but it is known that a meeting house was at this location in the late 17th century. Meeting Street gets its name from this house of worship. A small Greek Revival temple with graceful twin stairways and notable wrought-iron railings was built about 1806. The structure was a good example of Robert Mills' ability to design a temple-style building that was stately, yet modest in size. Destroyed by fire in 1861 and burned during the earthquake of 1886, the present sanctuary was erected in 1891 using bricks from the earlier temple. The present Romanesque style structure was designed by Stephenson and Greene architects from New York. The Circular Church established the state's first Sunday School in South Carolina. The churchyard, the oldest in Charleston, dates to 1681 during the last years of England's Charles II. Intricate tombstone artwork vividly conveys the Colonial era's fascination with and changing portrayals of death.

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