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

Episcopal Church of the Nativity, Union County (Church & Pinckney Sts., Union)
S1081774401001 S1081774401002 S1081774401003 S1081774401004
Left Oblique Right Elevation Interior
Hiram Powers

The Church of the Nativity in Union is a notable example of Gothic Revival ecclesiastical architecture. Delicately articulated exterior details, high quality craftsmanship in stone, and the Louis Tiffany stained glass chancel triplet window combine to make the Church of the Nativity one of the finest Episcopal parish churches in the Southeast. The church belongs to a stylistic group of unpretentious parish churches of the 1840s and 1850s that feature small size, diagonal buttresses, a feeling for stone, and an intimate relationship between the building and surrounding landscape. These characteristics derive from English parish-church architecture of the fourteenth century. Two of the major forces behind the construction of the church, Charlotte Poulton, and her sister, Mary Poulton Dawkins, were Englishwomen newly arrived from outside of London. They, along with Reverend John D. McCollough, who had already designed a number of Episcopal churches in South Carolina were knowledgeable about the leading currents in ecclesiastical architecture. On May 1, 1855, the cornerstone was laid but construction did not begin until the following year. Construction was interrupted by the Civil War, but the church was completed shortly thereafter. Hiram Powers, noted American sculptor, carved the octagonal white Carrara marble font that stands in the nave of the church. Listed in the National Register August 30, 1974.

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