Aiken-Rhett House Museum Tours, Hours & Tickets | Charleston, SC
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Hours & Info

Open daily from 10am – 5pm
with the last tour at 4:15.

Want to create your own visitor experience? Take our self-guided tour of the Aiken-Rhett House House! We recommend you download the free app before your visit. Wi-Fi is available. Our free app includes a walking guide to Charleston with over 300 points of interest. Enjoy!

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If these walls could talk

They’d tell you a compelling tale of urban life in antebellum Charleston through the eyes of the powerful and wealthy Governor and Mrs. William Aiken, Jr. and the enslaved Africans who maintained their house, property, and way of life.

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Explore three distinctive periods in architectural design and the lives of a powerful Southern family.

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For groups of 12 or more, please contact the house manager to reserve a tour. Discounts apply.

Visit both museums to experience two different preservation methods and save $6 on adult tickets by purchasing a combination ticket.

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The History of the Aiken-Rhett House

Built in 1820 by merchant John Robinson, the Aiken-Rhett House is nationally significant as one of the best-preserved townhouse complexes in the nation. Vastly expanded by Governor and Mrs. William Aiken, Jr. in the 1830s and again in the 1850s, the house and its outbuildings include a kitchen, the original slave quarters, carriage block and back lot. The house and its surviving furnishings offer a compelling portrait of urban life in antebellum Charleston, as well as a Southern politician, slaveholder and industrialist. The house spent 142 years in the Aiken family's hands before being sold to the Charleston Museum and opened as a museum house in 1975.

The house and its surviving furnishings offer a compelling portrait of urban life in antebellum Charleston

When the Foundation assumed ownership in 1995, we adopted a preserved-as-found preservation approach, meaning the structure and contents are left in an “as-found” state, including furniture, architecture and finishes that have not been altered since the mid 19th century. The only restored room in the house, the art gallery, showcases paintings and sculpture the Aiken family acquired on their European Grand Tour.

While many dependency buildings in Charleston have been demolished or adapted, the Aiken-Rhett slave quarters – with their original paint, floors and fixtures – survive virtually untouched since the 1850s, allowing visitors the unique chance to better comprehend the every-day realities of the enslaved Africans who lived on-site, maintained the household and catered to the needs of the Aiken family and their guests.

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Blog Posts

  • Jill Hooper Exhibit at Aiken-Rhett House Museum

    Posted: April 19, 2024

    Exclusive for The Charleston Festival’s 2024 season, artist Jill Hooper created a truly magical artistic experience marrying a range of media for a unique, site-specific visual art exhibition. Open for…

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  • Charleston Sessions Artist Returns for Festival

    Posted: March 7, 2024

    The Aiken-Rhett House Museum is an undeniable inspiration. With its hauntingly unique “preserved-as-found” preservation style, the historic house has previously hosted visual artists including Fletcher Williams III, Cookie Washington, and…

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  • Winslow’s Word: January 2024

    Posted: January 24, 2024

    Last month, Historic Charleston announced a new strategic plan adopted by our Board of Trustees that involved a proposal to transition away from owning the Nathaniel Russell House. While we…

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Hours & Info

Open daily from 10am – 5pm
with the last tour at 4:15.

Want to create your own visitor experience? Take our self-guided tour of the Aiken-Rhett House House! We recommend you download the free app before your visit. Wi-Fi is available. Our free app includes a walking guide to Charleston with over 300 points of interest. Enjoy!

Buy Tickets
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Upcoming Events

  • BTS Preservation Tour of Nathaniel Russell House
    May 30 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

    Over the past year, the renewed love and passion for the Nathaniel Russell House was a reminder of how special this historic landmark is the world of historic preservation. Valerie...

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