Prince Williams Parish Church, now Old Sheldon Ruins

41"x 30" oil on canvas ©2014 C.Hutson Wrenn

41″x 30″ oil on canvas ©2014 C.Hutson Wrenn


This painting was commissioned by Rick Parler of Charlotte, North Carolina, whose family is from Barnwell, South Carolina.

Located north of Beaufort, South Carolina, just off Hwy 17 at Hwy 21, Sheldon Church has lain in ruin for more than 120 years. Its gable roof, pediment, windows, and interior have disappeared, but the classic simplicity of its design still remains. One of the first Greek-Revival structures built in the United States, Prince William’s Parish Church, erected 1745-55, was once one of the most impressive churches in the Province. During the Revolution, the Patriots are believed to have stored gun powder in it. In 1779, when the British General Augustine Prevost invaded the Lowcountry, the church was burned by a detachment which according to tradition, was commanded by the flamboyant local Tory, Andrew Deveaux. Rebuilt in 1826, the church was again burned by Sherman’s men in 1865.

Its beauty remains evocative. It was my privilege to paint it.

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I was called to be an artist. And as an old old midwife said to me "If the Lord wants you to do something, you won't have no good luck' til you do." So, here I am, sharing what I love, longing to illuminate the work of art, which is everywhere.

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Posted in architecture, art, religion, South Carolina History, spirituality
6 comments on “Prince Williams Parish Church, now Old Sheldon Ruins
  1. wonderful Charlotte! hats off both to you and your patron-Great Grandpa would be proud i think!

  2. Kim in Fiji says:

    I clicked “like” ….. but “covet” is more accurate.

  3. Peter Hatten says:

    Thanks. Charlotte, for a specie rendition of that great ruin..Sheldon. The place is a historical treasure, and I love to make visits there…..usually no one else is there, save the ancient live oaks, streaming with Mardi Grass, as we used to call Spanish moss in my childhood. So glad you did the painting! And as Mike says, GGP Hutson would love it, too!

  4. Peter! Wow, thank you for taking the time to write. Mardi Grass! ha! And yes, it is such a magical place. We must see each other soon. I remember the lovely dinner at your house; how gracious y’all were. I must have you over here soon! With fondness, cousin Charlotte

  5. jilrob says:

    Thanks for sharing this story. I hope to be able to see the church next time I’m in the area. Your painting is beautiful.

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What’s this?

Welcome to my blog about the Lowcountry of South Carolina, a place proud with beauty, history and art. Sometimes we feel a call, to be, to go, to do. I was called to be an artist, and as an old midwife from Alabama said, “If the good Lord wants you to do something, you won’t have no good luck until you do it.”

So here I am writing about what I know, about the 'under glimmer' as the poet Basho, says, the way I have learned to see, to notice. I am inspired by, and talking about the history and art and culture of this place that has called me to herself. By the ancestors.

My background includes a degree in fine arts from a small private college in Florida, and before that, four years of all girls' boarding school in Asheville. I worked as a professional photographer, helped my children grow up, and now and I love seasoned things, good food, better conversation, beauty, my beloved and beautiful Italian Greyhound, Beau. Moved by the sacred places and stories of this beautiful historic land called the Lowcountry, I am here in spirit and I hope to infect you with my love of this place.

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