South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Castle Pinckney, Charleston County (Shute’s Folly Island, Charleston Harbor)
S1081771001801 S1081771001802 S1081771001803 S1081771001804 S1081771001805
Right Oblique Gorge Wall
with Sallyport
Sea Facing
Bricked in
1809 Cannon
S1081771001806 S1081771001807 S1081771001808 S1081771001809 S1081771001810
Small Arms
Granite Wharf Interior
1809 casemate
10 inch
Left Demi-Bastion

Typical of the castle-type fortresses which guarded important early settlements, but which lost their effectiveness with the improvement of explosive shells and the development of rifle pieces, Castle Pinckney is believed to be possibly the only horseshoe fort left in America which can be restored. The fort is a Charleston Harbor landmark and is historically interesting because it existed for such a long period of time, reflecting a number of colorful and significant events from the Colonial through the Confederate periods. The crescent-shaped, castle-type bastion on Shute’s Folly, a mile offshore East Battery, Castle Pinckney was constructed 1808-1811 as an inner-harbor, secondary defense fortress. The island’s name reflects a later owner, Joseph Shute, and preserves the Colonial custom of describing a Carolina sea island as a “folly.” The fort was named for Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, a Charlestonian and President Washington’s Ambassador to France, famous for his stand against the United States payment of any tribute. Castle Pinckney was the first ground seized by the Confederate military, accomplished on December 17, 1860, an act some historians claim as the first overt act of war. Listed in the National Register July 16, 1970.

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