“P” is for Pisé de Terre
Pisé de terre, or “rammed earth,” is an ancient form of building construction. Clay is the basic material in rammed earth buildings. After a foundation of brick or stone is laid, clay is poured into wooden molds and then tamped until solid. Additional layers are added until the walls reach the desired height, and the finished walls are coated with stucco. In the mid-nineteenth century, Dr. William W. Anders of Stateburg used pisé de terre to create two of South Carolina’s most distinctive works of architecture: the Borough House and the Church of the Holy Cross. Both structures have been designated as National Historic Landmarks. The Borough House and its outbuildings constitute the largest complex of pisé de terre buildings in the United States.