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Saint Michael's Episcopal Church

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Saint Michael's Episcopal Church


Structure in General

existing [completed]




  • St. Michael's Episcopal Church is the oldest church in Charleston and one of the few city churches in America to retain its original design. It has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1966.
  • The clock and ring of eight bells in St. Michael's steeple were imported in 1764. Except for short intervals during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, they have been a part of life in Charleston for over 200 years.
  • George Washington worshipped during his tour of the South in 1791.
  • During the American Revolution, the steeple was painted black in an effort do decrease its visibility as a result of it being a target for British ship gunners.
  • Additionally, the church's lead roof was taken apart and melted down to create bullets for the Americans during the Revolution.
  • Created in the late 1880s, the front portico is an exact replica of the original one which was damaged by the great Charleston earthquake of 1886.
  • The great earthquake also resulted in the large steeple sinking eight inches.
  • The pair of stained-glass windows along the north isle are entitled “Easter Morning” and “The Annunciation.”.
  • Originally having only hour hands, minute hands were added to each of the clock faces on the steeple in 1849 at the request of the Charleston City Council.
  • In operation since 1764, the steeple clock is thought to be the oldest functioning colonial tower clock in the country.
  • Pew No. 43, also known as “The Governor’s Pew,” is the same one that both George Washington and Robert E. Lee worshipped from during their respective visits to the church.
  • The bells of the Belfry weigh a combined 7,880 pounds, with bells one through five named after the orders of the angels and six through eight named after archangels.

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80 Meeting Street
79 Broad Street
80 Meeting Street
South Carolina

Technical Data

192.00 ft
192.00 ft

Involved Companies

Samuel Cardy

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