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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  • 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 »
  • This was a place we were told about by a neighbor, and recently visited with friends from New Jersey. We really enjoyed our visit and tour led by one of the monks. The tours are only available 11:30 a...  more »
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  • 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.
  • A monastery with a breathtaking garden. No words to describe. U can take a walk in the garden, sit by the river. So peaceful.
  • Found this blessed place looking for the Path of Totality, coming from down south (-er) ;) It was the first place I visited, and yes, I do believe we had a blessing before we did our 5- 6 day vacation, as we generally just winged it ,...looking for places to stay until the Eclipse.......we actually found a hotel room on the night of 8/20 after sleeping in the car for a night then 3 days camping!! I didn't get the tour (but that's on my to do list). Walked the grounds and garden. Truly a quiet place to pray and meditate. Dragonflies in all colors......it seems they watch you as you walk, following you......(Angels?) The trees are ancient. Paths all around that go somewhere. Would have crossed the bridge that goes into one of the cemeteries, but, alas, I didn't want to break the glistening web the spider had newly built. I gather Summer is not the season to view it in it's full glory. It would be in the Spring!! I could only imagine.=) The sculptures are truly artists' work. Too hot to visit the labyrinth. The girl at the shop was just genuinely friendly/down to earth. Lots of nice things for memoirs and gifts there. I will go back.
  • Had a great time at the Creshe festival and picnicking on the grounds afterward. Beautiful place to visit.
  • I love this peaceful place. My oldest son was blessed by one of the Monks here 🤗.

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