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Pompion Hill Chapel – Huger, South Carolina

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Constructed between 1763 and 1765, Pompion Hill is located near Huger in Berkeley County, where it once served as the official chapel-of-ease for the St. Thomas Parish. It sits on a small bluff overlooking the Cooper River. The Pompion Hill Chapel, considered a “miniature Georgian masterpiece,” replaced a wooden sanctuary built in 1703. That chapel originally served French Huguenots who had settled in the area in the late seventeenth century. The congregation began worshiping in the Anglican tradition shortly thereafter, due in part to the Church Act of 1706.

Pompion Chapel Cooper River

John Madray of Wikimedia Commons, 2014

The Church Act of 1706 designated the Church of England as the official church of the Carolinas. Congregations belonging to other denominations could worship in their own faith, but members of these non-Anglican churches – known as “dissenters” – could not hold public office, nor did their churches receive public support. The Reverend Thomas Hasell, an Anglican priest who owned nearby Pompion Hill Plantation, arrived to Berkeley County from England in 1709 to lead the church. The Church Act was abolished after the Revolutionary War.

Pompion Hill Chapel

Joseph Baker of Summerville, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Interestingly, the name of this church is sometimes pronounced “Pumpkin,” even today. As previously mentioned, Berkeley County was settled largely by French Huguenots, and pompion is an old French word for Pumpkin. A contemporary wedding record also lists this location as Ponkin.

Pompion Interior

Pamela Talbird of Charleston, 2009 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Pompion Hill Chapel is a National Historic Landmark and is also listed in the National Historic Register:

Pompion Hill Chapel, erected in 1763-1765, is a miniature Georgian masterpiece, original and unaltered. The chapel, built on a typical rectangular plan, is probably the finest and best preserved of South Carolina’s numerous small, eighteenth century country parish, brick churches. The first Anglican church outside Charleston was built in 1703 on Pompion Hill. In 1706 the Church of England became the established church in South Carolina and nine parishes were laid off, of which St. Thomas’s Parish containing the 1703 wooden church, was one. Construction on the existing church began in 1763 and was completed in 1765. The Chapel is a one-story Georgian brick structure with a jerkinhead roof and a rectangular plan. The brick walls are laid in Flemish bond and the roof is still covered with slate. The brick was provided by Zachariah Villepontoux, a noted brick maker with kilns at his Paranassus Plantation on the Black River. The master mason was William Axson. Constructed of red cedar, the pulpit is modeled after that of St. Michael’s Church in Charleston. All interior woodwork and nearly all of the furnishings are original. The exterior of the chapel is also largely original and unaltered.

More Pictures of Pompion Hill Chapel

Pompion Hill Chapel

Joy Rogers Hiott of Moncks Corner, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Pompion Hill Chapel

Joy Rogers Hiott of Moncks Corner, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Pompion Hill Chapel

Joy Rogers Hiott of Moncks Corner, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

View of Cooper River from Pompion Hill Chapel

Joy Rogers Hiott of Moncks Corner, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Pompion Chapel

Bill Segars of Hartsville, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Pompion Hill Huger

Bill Segars of Hartsville, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Pompion Hill Church in Berekely County

Joseph Baker of Summerville, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Pompion Grave

Ann Helms of Spartanburg, 2011 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Here is a wonderful little video showing how beautiful Pompion Hill Chapel is inside and out.

Pompion Hill Chapel Info

Address: Pompion Hill Lane, SC 29450
GPS Coordinates: 33.086309,-79.840255

Pompion Hill Chapel Map

Pompion Hill Chapel – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Pompion Hill Chapel, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!

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6 Comments about Pompion Hill Chapel

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
July 10th, 2017 at 12:11 am

Wow! That is pretty amazing. There is indeed a photo of it when we googled Pompion Hill Chapel 1764. Located here:×200.jpg. Hope this helps you!

Wanda DippleNo Gravatar says:
July 9th, 2017 at 2:43 pm

I was in contact with a staff member of the Charleston Museum a number of years ago who wrote: “There is a plaster inlaid brick on the exterior of the chapel bearing the mark “IE 1764″ which is strongly attributed to either Joshua or Jeremiah.” Are there any photographs of this brick? I am trying to authenticate Joshua Eden’s makers mark – I am the keeper of one of his (I believe) spinning wheels.

Jenny Taylor Kennington says:
May 5th, 2015 at 7:45 pm

We were in the river one afternoon and someone was giving a tour of this chapel. How can we get that coordinated?

David DuPre says:
April 12th, 2015 at 5:10 am

Wondering if there is a resource for finding burial plots or records at this location. Also, Joseph, Bill and Ann: Thank you for taking the time to post photos of the chapel.

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
March 10th, 2014 at 10:37 am

Hi, Gary. Pompion Hill Chapel is on private property, but the Preservation Society of Charleston conducts the occasional tour. Here is a link to the Preservation Society: I hope this helps.

Gary BlackNo Gravatar says:
March 10th, 2014 at 10:19 am

Can Pompion Hill Chapel be visited or is it located on private property? If so, can it be accessed from the highway? Thanks for any information, Gary Black


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