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Historic Colonial Dorchester State Park SC

Updated: Mar 30, 2022

Although a small park, it is located in a non-tourist area making it perfect for an elopement location! The park is in Summerville, just a 25-30 minute drive from downtown Charleston SC.

colonial dorchester state park tower

From 1697 until the beginning of the Revolutionary War, the trading town of Dorchester flourished along the Ashley River, inland from colonial Charleston. Today, Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site’s remarkably preserved archaeological remains give visitors a peek into the early history of colonial South Carolina. Although the bell tower is the most famous part of the park, there are other areas as well. There is a side path that takes you down to the Ashley River.

path to the ashley river summerville sc

At the end of the path is a large oak to have your elopement ceremony under the tree by the river!

ceremony under tree on the ashley river charleston sc

There are several location in and around the fort for photo opportunities, or your elopement ceremony!

outside of fort dorchester

Abandoned at the start of the Revolutionary War, the town of Dorchester has all but disappeared, leaving only a handful of original structures remaining. Visitors can stand below the towering remains of the brick bell tower of St. George’s Anglican Church, catch a glimpse of a log wharf during low tide or view the fort made of an oyster-shell concrete called tabby.

inside fort dorchester ruins sc

The fort overlooking the river was built in 1757.  At the beginning of the Revolutionary War Dorchester was a fortified post for the Americans, its garrison was briefly commanded by Francis Marion, who later became famous as the Swamp Fox. Near the war’s end, the village was a British post, occupied until the approach of an American force prompted the British to evacuate.  


sign for fort dorchester at state park sc

Across the greenway, is the famous bell tower of St George's. The church was built in 1719; the bell tower was added in 1751. 

sign for st george bell tower

bell tower ruins fort dorchester

front view of the bell tower ruins summerville sc

Your ceremony can be held here at the front of the bell tower (above), or for more privacy and shade, the rear of the bell tower (below).

historic site charleston sc

The state park is open 9-6 during daylight savings time, 9-5 the rest of the year. Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for children. Pets are allowed on a leash. Bathroom facilities are available.

elopement ceremony at colonial dorchester state park sc
Photography by Cameron

wedding photo at fort dorchester charleston sc
Photography by Cameron

The address of the Colonial Dorchester SC State Park is 300 State Park Rd, Summerville, SC 29485. Historic information provided by SC State Park.

Most of our elopement packages are available at this location! The most popular for this location has been the KISS package (Keep it Simply Southern!). Contact us today to check our availability!!

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