Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Trinity Cathedral

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Columbia, South Carolina, was designed to resemble York Minster in England. For comparison, here's  a posting on York Minster by jennyfreckles in Yorkshire. It's the oldest remaining church building in Columbia, having survived the Civil War. It was begun in 1814 and was still being added to in the 1890s.

It's an unusually good example of Gothic Revival architecture, but I think not quite as grand as York Minster.

The churchyard is filled with the graves of South Carolina dignitaries, including generals from three wars, poets, and politicians. Six governors are buried there, as are eight bishops, including Bishop Henry D. Phillips whose grave is shown, as well as his wife, who was the daughter of a bishop.

During the Civil War when Union General Sherman burned his way across the south, the parish took down Episcopal signs and erected a cross in hope that Sherman, a Roman Catholic, might spare the church. The rectory was burned but the church was spared. In 1865, the commander of the Union troops occupying Columbia ordered the Rector to say a prayer for the President of the United States during the liturgy. He complied, but at the start of the prayer the congregation arose from kneeling and did not say "amen."

Trinity Cathedral sits directly across the street from the state house in Columbia. It offers tours daily.


  1. Pretty ambitious to imitate York Minster -- but it's a lovely church.

    Loved your day lily post -- we are awash in them here too.

  2. I've been there and was really impressed. I especially loved the cemetery. (Or is it a graveyard since it's at the church?)

    1. I don't know which is the proper term, but I too was impressed. It appears to be pretty full but they haven't begun stacking the graves one atop another like they've done in Charleston. For me, it's all another world.