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SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Hallowed Ground: Prince George Winyah Episcopal Church in Georgetown

Posted 2/15/2014 2:22:00 PM

Prince George parish was formed in 1721 and named for the English prince who later became King George II. The original church was located about 12 miles north of the current city of Georgetown.

As the port city was developed and the numbers of rice planters in the region grew, the parish split, creating a Prince Frederick’s Parish where the old church stood and moving the new Prince George Winyah Parish to the city. A rector was sent from the English Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign parts and the first service was held in 1747.

The church building was completed in 1755 and still includes the old-style box pews that were rented or owned by parishioners, helping to fund the church. Its features include a Jacobean gable and an arcaded belfry with a cupola.

The church was twice occupied by “foreign” soldiers: first by British soldiers in the Revolutionary War, then by U.S. soldiers during Civil War.

The church history indicates that the stained-glass window behind the altar is English and was relocated from a slave chapel at Hagley Plantation, north of the city, on the Waccamaw River. Other glass windows were added early in the 20th century.

The church cemetery is surrounded by a wall of handmade brick and includes the graves of prominent early South Carolinians, including 19th century Gov. Robert Allston.

Prince George is one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the state and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Prince George Winyah Episcopal Church is located at 300 Broad St. in Georgetown and is open 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays from March through October. Year-round worship services held Sunday at 8, 9 and 11 a.m. Call (843) 546-4358 for more information or click here.