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Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral – Columbia, South Carolina


South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  Richland County Photos  |  Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral dates back to 1812, when its first congregation gathered to build a small, wooden church on the corner of Columbia‘s Gervais and Sumter streets. The church was completed in 1814, but by 1845 – just over three decades later – well-known architect Edward Brickell White had been commissioned to create a more elegant edifice.

Trinity Episcopal Columbia

Benton Henry of Latta, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

White, who modeled Trinity’s new home after England’s Yorkminster Cathedral, also designed the steeple of St Philip’s in Charleston. A wrought iron fence surrounds Trinity’s famous graveyard, where several South Carolina Revolutionary War and Confederate officers are buried.

Trinity Columbia

F. Everett Leigh of Union, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

It is also the resting place of poet Henry Timrod, Dr. Thomas Cooper, and six of South Carolina’s governors – James Byrnes, Wade Hampton III, Richard Irvine Manning I, Richard Irvine Manning III, John Lawrence Manning, and Hugh Smith Thompson.

Trinity Episcopal Church

Frederick Austin of Gilbert, 2011 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Remarkably, Trinity Episcopal was spared in Sherman’s March of 1865. The march destroyed a third of Columbia, and most of the buildings around the cathedral burned down. Sherman was a Roman Catholic, so Trinity was disguised to match this denomination. Its Episcopal symbols were taken away, and in their place, papier-mâché crosses were added to the roof.

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

Ralph Mayer of Lexington, 2011 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

In 1971, Trinity Cathedral was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1976, the Diocese of Upper South Carolina voted to make the church its cathedral parish, which means it now serves as the head church.

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Info


Address: 1100 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29201

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Map



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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 Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 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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