Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Drayton Hall

A few weeks back when I was in Charleston SC, I visited Drayton Hall one of the best preserved plantation houses left in the South.

In January 1738 the South Carolina Gazette ran the following add:

"To Be Sold, a Plantation on Ashley River, 12 miles from Charles Towne by water, containing 350 acres, whereof 150 acres of it is not yet clear'd, with a very good Dwelling-house, kitchen and several out houses, with a very good orchard, consisting of all sorts of Fruit Trees..."

It was at this time, that John Drayton bought the property & it stayed in the Drayton family for seven generations, before being given to the National Trust in 1974.
What is most surprising is that, through all of those years, it was kept in it's near original condition.

Rather than being restored or "modernized " Drayton Hall has been preserved as an artifact for future generations. The main house is considered one of the finest examples of Georgian-Palladian architecture in the United States. 

It survived the American Revolution, the Civil War, the earthquake of 1886, hurricane Hugo, and even urban sprawl. 

It is not furnished or embellished in any way, & there are no women dressed in antebellum costume to show you around. 

 There is a guided tour, with a period historian, through the grounds & the house, where you see the simple beauty of the bones of this remarkable building, & learn the fascinating story of its history.

To read more about its history & the Drayton family or the Bowen family, who first came to Dayton Hall as slaves in 1670 go here

Their stories woven together, tell an important part of American history, from very different angles & points of view, as do these beautifully preserved slave cabins on the property.

One can also visit the near by Magnolia Plantation, which was owned by the Drayton family as well, & is now one of the oldest public gardens in the country.

It was while there, that I took all of the spring flower photographs that I posted here.

And where I spotted these two proud peacocks,  perched on an old blue wagon...well, I couldn't very well resist a shot of them.

I hope you are all enjoying your week & looking forward to the weekend ahead!


  1. Wow! What a beautiful home. Those details are incredible.

  2. Great visit! I like this sort of house... it reminds me of the sets of American movies :) I would like to see that.

  3. very cool. love exploring another time period. stirs up the juices and gets one thinking.

  4. I can almost smell the old wood and the damp southern air in that house. I can imagine how those old floors creak.

  5. I loved that tour...and Boone Hall! I've got an antique rose bush that I purchased during the flower sale at Boone Hall that I love. Charleston homes and architecture are wonderful and their garden/home tours....oh my!

  6. En dehors de la beauté de cette maison "historique", je dirai qu'elle d'autant plus respectable que sa propre histoire fût rocambolesque.
    Une chance à toi de l'avoir visitée, et à nous de la connaître par ton très beau reportage photo.
    Je te souhaite un beau week-end, Sally,


  7. How wonderful to have this little tour Sally. Just last night I was reading some short stories by Flannery O'Connor, so your post feels incredibly appropriate, not least the peacocks!
    All the best

  8. thanks for the sweet word, sally.
    charleston is one of the loveliest places i ever visited in my life. nice to see the photo from your visit again.