The tabby ruins of Bleak Hall Plantation are part of the Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve and Wildlife Management Area located on Edisto Island, SC. There are three Gothic Revival architectural ruins: a white wooden ice house constructed on tabby foundations, a tabby gardener shed, and a tabby barn.
The plantation property belonged to the Townsend family from 1798-1933 and was named after Charles Dickens’ novel, Bleak House. After the Civil War, a fire destroyed much of the plantation, but the three tabby outbuildings survived. Constructed in the 1840s, they feature characteristics of Gothic Revival architecture, including spires, gable roofs, dentil molding, and mock arched doors and windows (although a fire in the 1970s destroyed much of the ornamentation of the barn). The property was eventually acquired by John Meyer, who deeded it to the state. Consequently, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources opened Botany Bay Plantation to the public in 2008. In addition to Bleak Hall, the brick ruins of Sea Cloud Plantation and other historic structures are on the preserve, which consists of pine-hardwood forests, agricultural fields, coastal wetlands, and a boneyard beach.
GPS: N 32°33.513 and W 80°15.276
Address: 1066 Botany Bay Rd., Edisto Island, SC 29438 (Botany Bay Rd. is an unpaved road that permits cars to drive through the preserve. Maps are available at the entrance.)
Accessibility: Free and open to the public, except closed on Tuesdays and for scheduled hunts. For more information, visit http://www.sciway.net/sc-photos/charleston-county/botany-bay.html.