Powder Magazine Museum
Our 10am & 3pm tours begin in the Powder Magazine. The Magazine is also the site of our Saturday Storytelling Programs.
The Powder Magazine, originally a military storage area for loose gun powder, is located on Cumberland Street in Charleston, SC. It is a small brick building with walls three feet thick and four groin arches that were designed to implode in case of an explosion. This was necessary so the surrounding property would not be subject to a spreading fire in case of an explosion of any kind- an accidental one or from an enemy invasion.
By 1704 Charles Towne was an English walled city and the erection of The Powder Magazine was completed in the North West corner of this enclosure in 1713 under the Lord Proprietors rule. The walled city was bordered by the present Meeting, Cumberland, East Bay and Water Streets---four blocks long and two blocks wide. The entrance gates and the draw bridge were at Meeting and Broad Streets. A Half Moon Battery was at the other end of Broad Street. Four Bastions (military outposts) protecting the city were located at each corner of the quadrantal enclosure with eighty-four cannons along the waterfront protecting the city from the French, the Spanish, the Pirates and the Indians.
The Powder Magazine, a National Historic Landmark, has been restored to its original appearance (except for the addition of a thin plaster wash inside to protect the brick from a chronic moisture problem). It was used as a powder magazine from 1713-1770 and again briefly during the Revolutionary War. Its other uses during its first 200 years were as a stable, a wine cellar, a print shop and finally a museum. In the 20th Century its present owners operated it as their Headquarters, meeting place and museum.
In 1901 The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of South Carolina secured this hallowed relic of Charleston’s past which, like the city, has endured the furies of wars and the ravages of nature. Today The Powder Magazine is an educational historic site whose owners are dedicated to revering and revealing the colonial history of Charleston, our state and our nation by furthering an appreciation of our national heritage through historic preservation, patriotic service and educational projects.
Visit the Powder Magazine Website.
Charleston Pirate Tours is proud to also partner with the Old Exchange. We offer a discount package that includes admission to the Exchange after the 10am and 1pm tours.
Built in 1771, The Old Exchange is a ‘must-see’ for all Charleston visitors. During your visit, you will discover this building’s integral role in our country’s quest for independence and its important service to our young nation.
While many of the historic buildings in Charleston are residences and focus on prominent families of the city, the Old Exchange began its existence as a public building and remains so today. Owned by the South Carolina Society of the Daughters of American Revolution, the Old Exchange offers public tours of its three floors that highlight various aspects of Charleston history during the Colonial and Revolutionary eras and put into context the people and events of the period.
It is the museum’s goal to present the history of the Old Exchange in an interesting and informative manner. Young and old alike seem drawn to the Provost Dungeon. Experienced docents will lead you through its eerie confines, and animatronic storytellers–the Deputy Collector, Mister Mate and Tom the Stockman–will entertain you and your family with wonderful tales of pirates and patriots. You’ll be having so much fun, you may not want to leave!
Dungeon of the Old Exchange
Visit the Old Exchange Building website.