The 2000 film The Patriot tells of a South Carolinian man named Benjamin Martin that leads an uprising after his son was murdered by a British officer.
The plot is loosely based on the life of “The Swamp Fox” Francis Marion, who engaged in guerilla warfare during the Revolutionary War. Mel Gibson starred alongside then-newcomer Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs, and Chris Cooper.
All of the filming took place in South Carolina, specifically the Upstate and Lowcountry. The town of Rock Hill served as the production’s headquarters.
A private farm in Chester was where the scene depicting the Battle of Cowpens took place, which was a significant defeat in the real-life British campaign. They transformed it into a Colonial village with a church and cabins. The small towns of Fort Lawn and Lowrys were also used, along with a historic house in Charleston.
All of these locations are open to the public and in South Carolina. Some no longer exist or were created for the movie, so they’ve been left out. For more information on The Patriot Filming Locations, visit SciWay.
The Patriot Filming Locations
Botany Bay Plantation Wildlife Management Area, Edisto Island
In 2007, the last of the owners passed away and left it to the state. It became an over 3,000-acre wildlife area with historic ruins, kayak access, and a driftwood beach. It’s free to visit but there are no bathroom facilities.
In The Patriot, the beach slave camp was located on the iconic stretch of beach.
College of Charleston, Charleston
The campus of the College of Charleston, which dates back to 1770, has been featured in many television and film projects, including The Patriot.
It was in Randolph Hall, the iconic building on the school’s logo, where interior shots were used when the General Assembly gathers. It’s also been used in the Nicholas Sparks film Dear John, The Notebook, and O.
Cypress Gardens, Moncks Corner
Cypress Gardens in Moncks Corner is another Charleston landmark to be featured in both The Notebook and The Patriot. Set on 170 acres of blackwater swamp dotted with bald cypress trees, the former rice plantation opened to the public in 1932.
In the movie, the gardens were used as the site of the militia’s secret headquarters and where the final scenes of the production were filmed. According to this article, the lagoon was drained, leaving only mud and trees, for a scene where troops disappear after ambushing the “Redcoats.”
Historic Brattonsville, McConnells
Located in the state’s Olde English District, Historic Brattonsville is a living history museum that focuses on the Revolutionary War period in York County. Set on over 700 acres, the family-owned property has historic buildings and costumed interpreters.
In the movie, it was the site of the Continental Encampment. It was also used as Charlotte Selton’s plantation and the interior of the Howards home.
Mansfield Plantation, Georgetown
Georgetown was established in 1729, before the founding of America. It was the home of two signers of the Declaration of Independence and later became one of the largest producers of rice in America.
One of these plantations, Mansfield Plantation, is now a bed and breakfast. It was used for exterior shots of Charlotte’s plantation. They created an artificial facade that could be burned down. The oak alley and slave cabins were also featured.
Middleton Place, Charleston
Middleton Place is one of Charleston’s plantations dating back to 1741. Part of the main house was destroyed in the 1886 earthquake, but much of the house still stands. Also, the house was the birthplace of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
The sprawling grounds have trails for spotting wildlife. It was on these grounds that in The Patriot, the Britisher’s Ball was held and where the ships were blown up.
Looking for a place to stay during your trip to South Carolina? In Charleston, we recommend the Inn at Middleton Place, French Quarter Inn, and Moncks Corner Inn. On Edisto, rent the appropriately named Swamp Fox. In Georgetown, we recommend Hampton Inn Georgetown-Marina. And in Rock Hill, stay at TownePlace Suites by Marriott Rock Hill.