City Directories and History: MILES BREWTON HOUSE
Constructed circa 1769; altered circa 1820s, 1840s; restored 1988-92
Richard Moncrieff, contractor; Ezra Waite, John Lord, Thomas Woodin, and others, woodworkers
“This house is considered the finest double pile house in Charleston and with its outbuildings constitutes the most complete Georgian town house complex surviving inAmerica. Miles Brewton, a wealthy slave trader and merchant, inherited the land on which the house was built from his prosperous grandfather and father. Although Ezra Waite claimed correctly to have performed much of the interior carving, recent research has indicated the hands of at least two others in the upstairs drawing (dining) room, including John Lord and Thomas Woodin, master carvers who had immigrated to Charleston from London. Much has been made in recent years of the use of pattern books in the design of the house and of the carving of the woodwork on the exterior and interior. In 1773 Josiah Quincy of Boston visited Miles Brewton and wrote enthusiastically in his diary: Dined with considerable company at Miles Brewton, Esqr’s, a gentleman of very large fortune: a most superb house said to have cost hint 8,000 of sterling. The grandest ball I ever beheld, azure blue satin window curtains, rich blue paper with gilt, mashee borders, most elegant pictures, excessive grand and costly looking glasses, etc.
The current owners have recently completed a major new restoration of the building. The original line of outbuildings on the northern edge of the property is relatively intact. The first portion consists of a kitchen, laundry, and carriage house built in 1769. The facade of the carriage house was remodeled at the time of other modifications by the Pringles (in Gothic Revival style) in the 1840s. Immediately behind the kitchen lies the cistern and an arcade with stables and storerooms leading to a substantial brick, two-story structure containing slave quarters and dating from about 1820. Another arcade stretches west from the quarters to an eighteenth-century building used originally as either a dairy, privy, or garden folly. These outbuildings relate exclusively to a paved courtyard and the cellar of the house and are separated from the garden by a brick coping and wooden fence.”
Information from: The Buildings of Charleston – J.H. Poston for the Historic Charleston Foundation, 1997
Other sources: Charleston Tax Payers of Charleston, SC in 1860-61, Dwelling Houses of Charleston by Alice R.H. Smith – 1917, Charleston 1861 Census Schedule, and a 1872 Bird’s Eye View of Charleston, S.C. The Hist. Charleston Foundation may also have additional data at: Past Perfect
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