CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Some changes are coming to Marion Square that aim to add more context to the historical significance of the space, while also protecting centuries-old ruins that lay just beneath the manicured lawns.
The changes are about a year in the making, and thanks to the collaboration of several organizations, the new installation will further enhance one of Charleston’s beloved outdoor spaces.
Just out of sight, beneath the grassy lawns of Marion Square, there are ruins referred to as “horn work” – pointed structures part of ancient fortifications to help soldiers see the enemy during the colonial era. Marion Square would have been at the edge of town, complete with gates and a moat to protect those inside.
It was built before the Revolutionary War, and after the British were defeated, it was essentially leveled. Hundreds of years later, key parts of that structure are still intact under the soil.
New bronze, in-ground markers will help illustrate, interpret, and educate locals and visitors alike while also protecting this archaeological site from any potential damage done by tent stakes placed during some of the city’s many festivals.
Marion Square is owned and operated by the Board of Field Officers of the Fourth Brigade, and while they collaborate with the city frequently to host various festivals and farmers markets, it’s this independent organization that oversees projects like this.
“We worked closely with the parks department, and they were aware of it, and they said fine go ahead, and we approved it, and they are going to going there, and we think it’s going to be a great addition to the historic ambiance of Charleston, it’s going to be another one of those… I guess somebody casual visitor would be, another surprise of Charleston’s history, that they can enjoy and say wow look at this,” said Tom Weinzierl, Chairman, Board of Field Officers of the Fourth Brigade.
The South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust is funding this project, and the hope is to have this initiative completed by Victory Day, which is held in December and commemorates the end of fighting during the Revolutionary War.
There will also be a digital learning component to the project, where visitors will be able to visualize exactly where this structure would have stood.