St. Philips Church, Charleston, SC

St. Philips Church in Charleston, SC

Click to enlarge or to buy prints

St. Philips Church is a historical Episcopal church located in the french quarter neighborhood of Charleston, South Carolina.

The Story

I was visiting Charleston in early April. It is beginning to become Spring here and I wanted to visit the St. Philip’s cemetery across from the main church. When I finished taking photos in the cemetery, I wandered over to the church to see if it was open. It was and I went into to see this spectacular structure.

Established in 1681, St. Philip’s is the oldest religious congregation in South Carolina. The first St. Philips Church, a wooden building, was built between 1680 and 1681 at the corner of Broad and Meeting streets on the present day site of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. It was damaged in a hurricane in 1710 and a new St. Phillips Church was begun a few blocks away on Church Street. After being delayed it was finished in 1723 but burned to the ground in 1835. Work on the present church was begun that same year and completed the next. The steeple was added between 1848 and 1850.

St. Philips Church in Charleston, SC

Click to enlarge or to purchase prints

One of the especially interesting features is the way the pews are set up. Called “Box Pews”, a family would seat themselves and then close the door at the end of the pew. On colder days, this enabled them to heat the pew by bringing a hot brick or stone to church with them. The heat would radiate throughout the pew box and keep them warm.


These images were created using 5 bracketed images merged in HDR Efex Pro. Once blended, I applied minor finishing adjustments to the images to maintain the balance and realism of the scene.


© 2013, The F/Stop Guy: St. Philip’s Church, Charleston, SC

  • Credit: Ken Rowland
This entry was posted in Architectural, HDR, Historical Buildings and tagged , , , , , , .


  1. Len Saltiel April 15, 2013 at 7:54 AM #

    Beautiful images Ken. Cool looking location. I will actually be in Charleston for a few days this week for the first time and will try to get a few shots. Do they allow tripods?
    Len Saltiel recently posted..Falling WaterMy Profile

    • The F/Stop Guy April 15, 2013 at 8:04 AM #

      Thanks Len. Tripods can be used depending on the number of people touring the church. It was just me and the volunteer that morning so I pretty much could go where I wanted to.

  2. Mark Summerfield April 15, 2013 at 4:40 PM #

    Nicely captured, Ken. Looks to be nice bright and airy place with some wonderful light.
    Mark Summerfield recently posted..1936 Cadillac Fleetwood V-12My Profile

  3. Erin Duke April 16, 2013 at 11:29 AM #

    Fantastic, Ken! I’ve actually never been inside this church, but now I can’t wait to get down there and take a few pictures myself! I love how light it is, and the details are delightful. :)
    Erin Duke recently posted..Vintage OakMy Profile

  4. Edith Levy April 16, 2013 at 4:29 PM #

    What a fantastic church. Great shots Ken.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


CommentLuv badge