Located in Moncks Corner, these ruins are on the site of a church that was built in 1711 but these ruins are the remains of the structure built in 1761. Established by the South Carolina Commons House of Assembly when the colony was divided into 10 parishes, Biggin Church was the parish church of St. John’s Berkeley Parish. Unfortunately, the church fell victim to three devastating fires.
The first was a forest fire that destroyed the church in 1755. It was rebuilt, but soon afterwards, British soldiers who used the church to store ammunition during the Revolutionary War set it on fire when they left. It was rebuilt again, but after burning down a third time from a forest fire in 1886, its parishioners left it in ruins.
The area was used as a local brickyard for years until its surrounding cemetery began to be used again. Even though portions of walls are all that now stand, they give evidence that the original design was fairly sophisticated.
There is a Gibbs surround at what may have been the main entrance, quoins at the corners, voussoirs over the windows, and a rounded water table. All of these were expertly crafted out of brick, which is impressive for construction during this time period.
The churchyard is beautiful year round, but especially during the spring. Azaleas, redbuds, dogwood trees and more bloom to create a garden-like atmosphere surrounding the grave markers. The yard is lovingly maintained by the same vestry as Strawberry Chapel, and is open to visitors during daylight hours.
Biggin Church is listed in the National Register:
Biggin Church Ruins are the remains of the parish church of St. John’s Parish. The church was established by an act of the South Carolina Commons House of Assembly in 1706, which divided the colony into ten parishes. The original Biggin Church was probably completed ca. 1711. Biggin Church was used through the mid-nineteenth century and the surrounding cemetery is still being used. During the American Revolution, ammunitions were stored in the church by British troops who, upon leaving, set the church on fire. The church was burned several other times throughout its use, the last time in the late 1800s when it was not subsequently rebuilt. For many years the site served as a local brickyard. Although only portions of two walls remain, there is evidence that originally Biggin Church was designed with a degree of sophistication. Notable architectural details which remain include a Gibbs surround at the main portal, quoins at the corner, radiating voussoirs over the windows, and a rounded water table—all executed in brick.
More Pictures of the Biggin Church Ruins
Leanna Thorndike says
Such a beautiful and peaceful place.
David Brown says
I have been told that some of my ancestors are buried there. Their last names are Videau, Mouzon, Cordes.
Are weddings allowed to be held here?
Contact the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce: http://berkeleysc.org/chamber/
Sandra Brown says
I am trying to work on my family tree and I am stumped on where Umbra is located some of my family members thought that it was not far from this church of which my great, great grandfather was the preacher. Most of the family is buried there such as Avengers and Riches. We are so excited to find out more puzzle pieces to our family tree. Thank you.
I live seven miles from the church. Visited today. Absolutely beautiful.
Gary Hunt says
What is the earliest grave marker date in this cemetery? Thank you.
Good question! Here is a link to a site that documents these types of things: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=69564
can you give me the address or directions to the ruins? thanks