Barnwell County, originally Winton County,was created out of Orangeburgh Districtin 1785. Renamed Barnwell District in 1798for John Barnwell (1748-1800), a S.C. militiaofficer in the Revolution and afterwards,it became Barnwell County in 1868. Thefirst courthouse was built at Boiling Springsin 1789 and was replaced by a courthousebuilt here in 1800. Later courthouses herewere built in 1819 and 1848.
The 1848 courthouse was burned by Federaltroops in 1865. Court was held at BarnwellPresbyterian Church 1865-69 and again1874-78. The county seat was moved toBlackwell 1869-73 but returned toBarnwell permanently in 1874. Thiscourthouse, the fourth on this site, wasbuilt in 1878-79 and enlarged in 1901 and1921. The nearby sundial, donated by statesenator J.D. Allen (1812-1880), was erectedin 1858.