When twelve Scottish families left the Circular Congregational Church in 1731, they formed the First Scots Presbyterian Church. The current sanctuary building was constructed in 1814 and is another Charleston church gem. This sturdy house of worship has three-foot-thick stucco covered walls and majestic twin towers that rise gracefully above a columned portico. As with most of Charleston’s historic churches the First Scots adjoining cemetery is an endearing record and tribute to those laid to rest. There are more than 50 gravestones dating from before the 1800’s.
The congregations of this church were and remain quite proud of their Presbyterian and Scottish heritage. Look for the Scottish symbols within the intricate stained-glass window over the entry door and within the wrought iron grills. An English bell made in 1814, the year of the church’s construction in the north tower, weighs 1,470 pounds. The original was taken down and donated to the confederacy during the Civil War to use as a cannon.
Check out the wainscoting along the interior walls. They were the box doors to the original pews. The stained-glass windows and interesting memorial plaques were later added to raise funds to salvage this magnificent structure after the massive Charleston earthquake of 1886.