Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Historic Preservation


Hudgins, Carter L

Committee Member

Russell, Robert D

Committee Member

Pemberton, Katherine S


This thesis analyzes the recent creation of tradition surrounding church bells and bell towers in Charleston, South Carolina. Church bells have been a significant feature of Charleston’s aural landscape since the mid-eighteenth century when St. Michael’s hung a ring of bells in the tower that still dominates the intersection of Meeting and Broad Streets. The histories of four churches, St. Michael’s (1751), the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul (1811), St, Matthew’s Lutheran (1867), and Grace Episcopal (1846) affirms the important role that bells played for these congregations. The bells installed in these churches and the uses to which they were put indicate that change ringing, a method of ringing a set of bells in intricate patterns, is a new practice introduced during the repair and restorations that followed Hurricane Hugo in 1989.