South Carolina Picture Project

St. Helena Chapel of Ease – St. Helena Island, South Carolina

South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  Beaufort County Photos  |  St. Helena Chapel of Ease

Edit This Page  |  Leave A Comment

These tabby walls are all that remain of an old chapel-of-ease on St. Helena Island. The chapel was built in the mid-1700s and served the families who owned plantations on St. Helena Island.

St. Helena Chapel

Pete Lawrence of Sumter, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The primary parish church, though known as St. Helena’s Church, was actually located in Beaufort, making it too far away for the planters to regularly attend services. Therefore, the Anglican Church established this “chapel of ease” nearer their homes.

Chapel of Ease

Barry Gooch of Port Royal © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The federal government gained control of South Carolina’s sea islands early in the Civil War. Plantation owners were forced to abandon their land, leaving their slaves behind. The slaves found themselves in legal limbo – no longer enslaved, but not yet officially free.

St. Helena's Chapel

Diana Rees of Evans, Georgia, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Northern missionaries and teachers came south and with support from the federal government, established what came to be known as the Port Royal Experiment – the country’s earliest efforts to educate and train former slaves to work outside of the institution of slavery. After the Civil War, the church continued to be used as an outpost by a variety of freedmen’s groups. A forest fire destroyed the building in 1886 and it was never repaired.

Chapel of Ease Window

Vann Hettinger of Englewood, CO, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

More Pictures of the St. Helena Chapel of Ease

St. Helena Chapel of Ease

Philip Heim of Beaufort, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Chapel of Ease Beaufort County

Josh Whiteside of Beaufort, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Chapel of Ease in Beaufort

Megan Pearson of Edgefield, 2012 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Beaufort SC Chapel of Ease

Megan Pearson of Edgefield, 2012 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The St. Helena Chapel of Ease is listed in the National Register:

This ruin is significant as a relatively intact example of mid-eighteenth century tabby construction and for its association with the St. Helena Parish, both as a secondary and primary place of worship for inhabitants of the parish. It was built ca. 1740 as a chapel of ease, to serve planters in St. Helena Parish who lived at great distances from the parish church in Beaufort and could not regularly attend services there. By 1812, the population of St. Helena Island had increased to the extent that the chapel of ease was designated a parish church. The church was virtually abandoned when the planters evacuated the island in the fall of 1861. During the Federal occupation of St. Helena, the church was used frequently by several of the Northerners who had come to the island to educate and train the freedmen. It was also used as a sanctuary by Methodist freedmen as early as 1868, but was burned by a forest fire in February 1886 and was never repaired. Much of its historic fabric, including the church walls and much of its plaster, remains. A small cemetery adjacent to the church ruin contributes to the historic character of the property.

Chapel of Ease – Getting Married

The Parish Church of St. Helena in Beaufort manages the Chapel of Ease and the ruins at the Old Sheldon Church. Couples wishing to be married at the site must be members of the Parish.

St. Helena Chapel of Ease Info

Address: Lands End Road near Saturns Circle, St Helena Island, SC 29920
GPS Coordinates: 32.375601,-80.576650

St. Helena Chapel of Ease Map

St. Helena Chapel of Ease – 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 St. Helena Chapel of Ease, 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!

Please Share Your Thoughts!

The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!

12 Comments about St. Helena Chapel of Ease

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
June 8th, 2015 at 8:53 am

Hi, Patricia. According to the parish church, people must now be members of St. Helena’s in Beaufort in order to be married at the site. Here is the church’s website for further information:

Patricia JordanNo Gravatar says:
June 7th, 2015 at 5:27 pm

I am an out of towner and I’d love to have my wedding at the St. Helena chapel of Ease. How can I do that?

MikeNo Gravatar says:
September 10th, 2014 at 9:47 am

Michele, I’m going there this weekend, will be sure to look and let you know.

MicheleNo Gravatar says:
August 23rd, 2014 at 5:55 am

I’m looking for a headstone: Lynes, 1802-1870. Can someone tell me if it’s there? Thank you.

FrankiNo Gravatar says:
January 6th, 2014 at 12:08 am

Love this place – it is enchanting!

PatriciaNo Gravatar says:
September 3rd, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Rodney, contact St. Helena’s Church in Beaufort, S.C. I so want to visit this site in the near future! It’s just beautiful, and I love the history of S.C.

Elaine of SCNo Gravatar says:
June 19th, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Beautiful. I’d like to visit someday when I visit my hometown. Intriguing.

MariNo Gravatar says:
May 21st, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Getting married here soon 🙂

KemNo Gravatar says:
April 18th, 2013 at 3:44 pm

I love this place. It is so beautiful. I have visited it many times. Anyone who wants to visit, just make sure you wear long pants and closed toed shoes. The “nettles” are killers.

RodneyNo Gravatar says:
February 26th, 2013 at 11:15 am

Can someone please tell me how to get in touch with the owner of this property?

margaret berryNo Gravatar says:
July 25th, 2011 at 6:46 pm

I’m looking for the slave owners of my fathers family, their last name is Hill.

jennyNo Gravatar says:
September 1st, 2010 at 11:29 am

I love this. Beautiful.

St. Helena Chapel of Ease - Related Entries

Maude Callen Clinic Interior

Cedar Wreath School Marker
Cedar Wreath School

Victor Hill Hotel Ruins

Myrtle Beach Pavilion Building

Williamston Female College Marker

Orr-Lyons Mills Smokestack

Hendrix House
Hendrix House

Awendaw Ship Wreck
Awendaw Boat

Fort Jackson Headquarters


Join Us on Facebook
Our 5 Goals
Our Contributors
Add Info
Add Pictures
Search for Pictures
Missing Landmarks


Abbeville ACE Basin Aiken Allendale Anderson Awendaw Bamberg Banks Barns & Farms Barnwell Batesburg-Leesville Beaches Beaufort Beech Island Belton Bennettsville Bishopville Blackville Bluffton Bridges Bygone Landmarks Camden Carnegie Libraries Cemeteries Charleston Charleston Navy Base Cheraw Chester Churches Clemson Clinton Clio Colleges Columbia Conway Cordesville Courthouses Darlington Denmark Dillon Donalds Easley Edgefield Edisto Elloree Fairfax Florence Folly Beach Forests and Nature Preserves Gaffney Garden City Beach Georgetown Glenn Springs Graniteville Greeleyville Greenville Greenwood Greer Hamburg Hampton Hartsville Hemingway Hilton Head Historical Photos Historic Houses Honea Path Hopkins Hunting Island Isle of Palms Jails James Island Johns Island Johnsonville Johnston Kiawah Island Kingstree Lake City Lake Marion Lakes Lancaster Landrum Latta Laurens Lexington Libraries Lighthouses Little River Manning Marion McClellanville McCormick Military Mills Moncks Corner Mountains Mount Carmel Mount Pleasant Mullins Murrells Inlet Myrtle Beach National Register Newberry Ninety Six North Augusta North Charleston North Myrtle Beach Orangeburg Pacolet Parks Pawleys Island Pendleton Pickens Piers Pinopolis Plantations Port Royal Post Offices Ravenel Restaurants Ridge Spring Ridgeway Rivers Roadside Oddities Robert Mills Rock Hill Rockville Rosenwald Schools Salters Saluda Savannah River Site SC Artists SC Heroes of the Alamo Schools Seneca Shrimp Boats Society Hill Spartanburg Sports Springs St. George St. Helena Island St. Matthews Stores Sullivan's Island Summerton Summerville Sumter Sunset Synagogues Town Clocks Trains & Depots Trees Trenton Turbeville Ulmer Union Wadmalaw Island Walhalla Walterboro Waterfalls Water Towers West Columbia Westminster Winnsboro Yemassee York

© 2018, LLC All rights reserved.