Mepkin Abbey, Moncks Corner

Mepkin Abbey is a Trappist monastery in Berkeley County, South Carolina. The abbey is located near Moncks Corner, at the junction of the two forks of the Cooper River northwest of Charleston, and is located in the Diocese of Charleston.HistoryThe area has been known as Mepkin for centuries, and was originally the estate of several historic families. The first record of the name was a 1681 grant to the sons of Sir John Coleton, one of the Lords Proprietary of South Carolina. In 1762 one of his descendants sold the land to Henry Laurens of Charleston. Laurens built his home there, and it was known as the Mepkin Plantation.After a few generations, the Laurens family sold the property, and it passed through several hands. In 1936 the well-known publisher Henry R. Luce bought the property. His wife, Clare Boothe Luce, commissioned and built an extensive landscape garden known as the Mepkin Garden. Then in 1949 the Luces donated a large part of the property including the garden to the Trappist Order's Gethsemani Abbey for its use.Twenty-nine monks of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Trappists) came from Gethsemani, Kentucky, to found the new Mepkin Abbey. With a few limitations, the Abbey and the Mepkin Gardens are open to the public on a daily basis. The monastery grounds include a graveyard containing the ashes of Henry Laurens, as well as the graves of John Laurens, Clare Boothe Luce and her husband, the publisher, Henry Luce. Its gardens are now known as the Mepkin Abbey Botanical Garden.
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Mepkin Abbey Reviews
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  • We visited here in January on a beautiful day but I can only imagine how pretty it must be in the spring time! We stopped in the gift shop first and they have a great inventory of various items and fr...  more »
  • Mepkin Abbey has beautiful gardens, amazing wood carvings, and a quiet peacefulness as you walk the grounds of the Abbey. Upon entry to Mepkin Abbey, we stopped by the gift shop. Many handmade items, ...  more »
  • This is a Trappist monastery that is occupying a land area that is rich in history - dating back to pre-revolution families. Back in the 1930s It was purchased by the Henry and Claire Booth Luce, who ...  more »
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  • What a wonderful day we had at the Abbey today. It's a perfect time of year - not too warm; not too cold - flowers blooming all over the place. Serene setting to just enjoy....LIFE!!! What a beautiful place God has given us!
  • Took maternity photos here. The grounds are beautiful! Our daughter loved exploring and looking at all the flowers. It would be a great place to go for a picnic. We will be back!
  • Peaceful and beautiful describes this place. If you get a chance, visit. You will not be disappointed.
  • Free and plentiful parking. Grounds are beautiful. Bathrooms are worn but seemed clean. I participated in the guided tour ($5, approx 1hr). Paul led us through Clare’s Garden, past the retreat houses, past the library and into the monastery. He shared pieces of history throughout and stopped in a few spots for longer diatribes or to point out specific sculptures. Inside the monastery, we were instructed to seat ourselves to the left and quietly observe the monks in prayer. Photos were allowed throughout the entire tour except during the prayer. Pets are not allowed as their grounds dog (pictured) “can be territorial”. Abbey is sweet as pie to people. :) It was a bit difficult to follow the tour as he kept asking for a time check and getting off track.
  • It was good I have been there two times and the sights are just beautiful the trees the lake everything
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