The Powder Magazine

The Powder Magazine, Charleston: Hours, Address, The Powder Magazine Reviews: 4/5

The Powder Magazine
4
Military Museums • Historic Sites • History Museums
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10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
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About
The Powder Magazine is South Carolina's oldest public building. It was constructed in 1713 for gunpowder storage and now stands as a colonial military history museum.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
132 reviews
Excellent
48
Very good
57
Average
23
Poor
3
Terrible
1

daearz77
Charleston, SC474 contributions
Family
My daughter and I were downtown, and on a whim, decided to go here. We were absolutely thrilled that we did. It’s not the largest museum in the area by any means, but for $10 for the two of us, it was well worth the price. The scavenger hunt with the quill writing pen is a nice touch. The tour was fun and the tour guide answered any questions we had. My daughter loved getting to hold a musket at the end of the tour and pose for pictures. By the end of the day, my daughter said this was the highlight of her day in Charleston.
Written April 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TAMAN1951
Liberty Lake, WA5,828 contributions
Couples
Great story and well restored building

I especially liked the details of construction design to protect the area in case of an explosion of the powder stored here.

Nicest people on staff. Well worth a stop for a few minutes if you are in the area.
Written August 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RJB1215
Fort Lauderdale, FL2,557 contributions
Friends
We went on the Historic Tour of Charleston and our guide mentioned stopping into the Powder Magazine. Such a step back in time! Only $6 entrance fee! The docents were very helpful and accommodating during our visit. We even purchased a “Liberty” t shirt for $20. Well worth the visit.
Written September 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sunshine766854
4 contributions
Couples
Our walking tour guide pointed out this landmark (The Powder Magazine) on our tour. We went back the next day and was pleasantly surprised at the wealth of information in this little museum. The curators were super informative and you could also participate in a scavenger hunt. This is definitely worth your time!
Written June 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

WC-Travelers-75
West Chester, PA2,184 contributions
Worth swinging by to check out the building. We poked our head inside but not much to see. I don't recall paying a fee to enter.

5 minutes max.

It was also on our walking tour of historic district.
Written May 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

moviegirl35
Chantilly, VA31 contributions
Family
What a great little find! Excellent hands on experience for young children. They interact through a scavenger hunt, which turns history into an exciting game. The demonstrations are great and informative. Highly recommend stopping to visit when in Charleston.
Written March 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MiouMiou
West Long Branch, NJ1,123 contributions
This building is 300 years old, and was originally used as a storage building for loose gunpowder. It is now a very small museum, basically just one room. We enjoyed it for the historic significance, the interesting artifacts inside, and the enthusiastic explanations of the exhibits given by one of the docents there. One of the surprising things he explained to us was that the building was constructed with three feet thick walls, and designed in a way that the building would implode in case of an explosion, not unusual in a place where loose gunpowder was stored.

It will take you maybe 20 minutes to see this little museum, but it is worth a visit if you are on a walking tour and happen to pass by. The museum was free, and there is a small gift shop with colonial type toys that would be of interest to children.
Written July 17, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

abbeyrue
Gaithersburg, MD13 contributions
This is just a small, one room museum that, as the name implies, used to hold gunpowder. The building is a couple hundred years old, but it's been renovated so you don't really get that old time effect.

The worker dressed in period costume was very gracious and gave a brief overview of its not very exciting history. There's also some cardboard exhibits. Oh, and you can hold a musket if you want.

I think it cost $2 or $3, and I was there about 15-20 minutes.

I'd say skip it cause there's not much to see.
Written July 27, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Anthony P
Charleston, SC2,267 contributions
Family
This little building has been around since before the United States. Its history is amazing and the simple technoilogy that it represents is pretty neat. The building itself is not large, and there are only a few displays within the building itself. If you just go in to the building and roam around reading a few things here and there you may find yourself questioning the value; however, the secret of this place are the personnel working there and with a little planning this can easily turn into one of the highlights of your trip.

This place does specific programs throughout the summer. One of the programs that we saw was on the pirate Stede Bonnet. They actually have a guy that comes dressed as Stede Bonnet, who acts out his entire trial, quoting from a record that happend some 300 years ago. He really is a ham and loves his acting and the kids loved it, as they got to vote as to his fate. My kids were found to be a bit more blood thirsty and clearly they have been watching too much TV. Anyway, it was alot of fun and a learning experience.

There are a few displays that give the viewer a very good idea of colonial Charleston and the military men that operated in the district. This is where your personnel in the museum really come into play. they are an amazing repetoire of information about not only this building and the materials inside (cannons, rifles, etc.) but also of the individuals that used these weapons. Their backgrounds and some very interesting stories of the individuals who frequented Charleston. At the end of my visit I found myself once again immersed in a historical gray that overtook my schooling where everything was a pleasant black and white hue.

Word to the wise here though. This is an adult location in that adults are expected to ask questions and plan ahead. If you just show up, the museum personnel might come out and explain exactly what you are looking at, or they might not. Don't let the might not happen. Ask the questions and get the stories that you would have to pay a guide $30 to hear and then not get quite right. Also, look at that schedule and get the full value.

Great place. Don't miss it.
Written March 6, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

DeanMurphy2020
Orlando, FL7,408 contributions
Solo
Powder Magazine Museum at 79 Cumberland Street (843/722-9350, PowderMag.org) off Meeting Street is the oldest public building, constructed in 1713 to store gunpowder. The architectural innovative concept, according to curator Alan Stello in the photo below, incorporates huge columns and gothic arched ceilings to support the weight of sand in the gables. Walls boast large arches, and are thinner near the arch peaks, three feet thick near the ground. There are also few doors in the building, so that in the event of an explosion, most of the explosive force would exit through the roof, with the arches acting like funnels. Sand stored in the roof would then smother and put out the fire.
Written April 7, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about The Powder Magazine

The Powder Magazine is open:
  • Sun - Sun 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Mon - Sat 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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We recommend booking The Powder Magazine tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 21 The Powder Magazine tours on Tripadvisor