Although St. Cyprian’s is an active church and not an abandoned ruin, visitors to Darien,GA can view the exterior walls made of exposed tabby. When I went to the Episcopal church, the Very Reverend Ted Clarkson kindly invited me in and explained the church’s history.
Freed slaves built the picturesque church in 1875, using techniques of tabby construction from Antebellum times. There is debate over whether Portland cement or tabby concrete (made from burning oyster shells) was used, and no test has yet been done to determine the answer. Although the exterior tabby is exposed, the interior walls are covered with stucco, which has typically been the case for tabby structures.
The church sits on land donated by Frances Kemble Butler Leigh, the daughter of famous abolitionist and actress, Fanny Kemble, and of local planter, Pierce Butler. Mrs. Leigh’s husband, James Wentworth Leigh, was the Anglican Dean who first ministered to the freed slaves who built St. Cyprian’s. (For more information, visit http://standrewsstcyprians.georgiaepiscopal.org/)
GPS: N 31°22.014 and W 81°25.921
Address: 401 Fort King George Dr., Darien GA 31305
Accessibility: The outside of the tabby church can be seen any time, but entrance to the church is limited to services.