Monday, June 4, 2018

The Gateway Walk of Charleston

Happy June everyone!  How are things in your part of the world?  The sun is finally shining in a blue sky here, and I'm a happy camper.  :D 
I have another Charleston post to share today.  You can read Part 2 of this post here.  We were there in the third week of April, and it already feels like so long ago.  The summer is truly flying by.  This year on our visit, we did some new things around the city, just to keep it interesting.  One of the things my husband discovered online was the Gateway Walk.  The Gateway Walk is an informal path through some of the oldest parts of Charleston.  It almost feels like a secret adventure as you walk between private back gardens with tree branches and foliage on either side to keep the path shady.
But once you emerge from the shaded walkway, you realize you're on a busy city sidewalk or at another gate, opening into one of Charleston's historic cemeteries. 
Our first stop was the cemetery of St. Phillip's Episcopal Church.  This one is directly across the street from St. Phillip's.  I love to walk through old cemeteries; they provide such interesting glimpses of those who came before us.  
Above and below are monuments to the Calhoun family.    
John C. Calhoun 1782-1850
At the back of St. Phillip's Episcopal Cemetery is a gate which opens into the cemetery for the Circular Congregational Church.  The above building is the third on this site and was built in 1890, using bricks from the second church building of 1804.  The congregation of the circular church was co-founded with Charles Towne (1680-1685) by the English Congregationalists, Scots Presbyterians, and French Huguenots.
This is a rather gothic-looking grave stone, isn't it?  Notice the skull with angel wings (?)  decorating the top of the headstone.  The inscription reads --
"Here lyes Buried the Body of Mrs. Desire
Peronneau, Wife to Mr. Henry
Peronneau Who Departed this life December 30th Anno
Domini - 1740, Aged 60 Years"
There were grave markers for several members of the Peronneau family, surely a French surname. Many of their markers were quite old.  Mrs. Desire Peronneau would have been born in 1680.  It's quite possible the Peronneaus were French Huguenots fleeing from persecution in France.   
This stone had broken at one time, and is now held together by metal plates.  
Some of the taller monuments had broken, as well.    
Standing in the graveyard of the Circular Congregational Church, you can see St. Phillip's Episcopal Church one street over.  
Adjacent to the graveyard stands the Parish House of the Circular Congregational Church.  This building is a highly significant Greek Revival architectural work by Robert Mills; Mills was Charleston's leading architect, who also designed the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.  The Parish House is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.  
More lovely wrought iron on the steps and porch.
One last picture from this cemetery.
After leaving the Circular Church cemetery, we stopped for a short rest in the Lenhardt Garden of the Gibbes Museum of Art.    
That's it for this post; I'm sorry it was so picture-heavy.  This was such an interesting walk for us -- lots to take in.  There is one more cemetery, which was not like any I've ever visited.  I'll share that one in the next post.  
I hope you enjoyed reading about this part of Charleston.  Do you like to stroll through old cemeteries?  They can be a window on the past if you take time to read the markers.  Thank you for your visit and have a wonderful week!  


  1. Fascinating, Denise - and VERY nicely photographed too. I always think I'd like Charleston - elegant looking place - always reminds me of Rhett Butler... Cemeteries - I think they intrigue because there are so many stories lurking behind the headstones, they remind us of our own mortality (and therefore the need to enjoy what we have) and, finally, and inevitably, invariably have a calming, peaceful, ambiance.

  2. I'd love to stroll through that old cemetery!



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