Saturday, August 27, 2016

Prince Frederick's Chapel, Plantersville

A long way from anywhere, along narrow deserted roads through miles of nothing but wilderness, lie the abandoned rice fields and plantations of the wealthiest Americans of their day, plantations that each produced up to 1.5 million pounds of rice a year.

Out of nowhere we came upon these ruins of Prince Frederick's Chapel, what is left of a large and ornate church fitting for worship by the planters, men of wealth and power, and their families.

Prince Frederick of Wales was the son of King George II.


The first small wooden chapel on the site was built in 1848 and construction of a grand replacement in the Gothic Revival style was begun in 1859. Work soon came to a halt, interrupted by the Civil War.

After the war it was impossible to imagine that a way of life, one based on the cultivation of rice and the exploitation of slaves for labor, that had prospered for over a hundred years could end. Planters regained their land, fought to bring back the rice crops, and work resumed on the church. The contractors were two brothers, Philip and Edward Gunn. One of them fell to his death during construction.


The new church was finished in 1879 but it was too late. With the loss of slave labor the rice economy rapidly declined, planters fled to the cities, and in a few years the church was abandoned, began to crumble, and eventually was removed except for the front wall.



When the church was demolished in 1966 the front wall and bell tower, guarded by a tall fence topped with strands of barbed wire and a plethora of No Trespassing signs, was left standing, a testament to a time when what has returned to wilderness was the center of American commerce.




  1. Good discovery as you explore your new location.
    I sure hope that the front facade of this historic
    building is safely guarded for future generations
    to enjoy.
    Your historical reports (blogs) are certainly very interesting.
    Does Paul give some advice????

    Only 3 days here left of winter ( which this year bye-passed (much
    to my delight and well being) Brisbane.
    May make for the possibility of a "SAUNA" like 24/7 February 2017!!!
    Days I can tolerate - nights NO NO NO.
    As the usual August winds failed ( 2 or 3 days only of them) to eventuate
    I can only hope that February's Sauna will get lost also.

  2. It's a stark reminder of how life changes.

  3. To judge by what remains it must have once been a very beautiful building.

  4. what a pity that it was devasted..

  5. I like those historical stories you tell in your posts. It is a strange look to see only the facade of a church, like a kind of decor in a play.

  6. Great photos, you do find such interesting places.

  7. What a great historical story. For some reason, it gave me goosebumps. How sad that one of the brothers fell to his death.

  8. Sad to read of one brother's fall and death. What an interesting find!

  9. You could just imagine the brothers ghost appearing… The trees growing out of the top of the tower are interesting.
    Have a lovely week
    Wren x

  10. Its a shame the church couldn't have been kept and restored for historical purposes.

  11. Don't you love that shrubs and vegetation are growing in the crumbling facade? It's so ornate - a pity it couldn't be saved.

  12. I feel saddened that this church and the history surrounding it will be left to decay. If enough people drew attention to it, as you have done here, maybe its memory will live on.

  13. How interesting to read.
    Things change some times not always for the best.