in 1744 daniel horry purchased 600 acres near present day mc clellanville for a rice plantation. in the mid 1740's horry built the georgian style mansion you see today. hampton plantation was named after hampton house in england. during the revolutionary war hampton plantation was looted by british troops. after the revolution george washington visited hampton plantation in 1791. prior to the civil war hampton plantation had as many as 300 slaves. this well preserved plantation escaped destruction during the civil war. for those interested in early american history and southern culture hampton plantation is worth the side trip when in the charleston area.
the charles picnkney plantation also known as snee farm is located about ten miles northwest of downtown charleston. charles picnkney (1757-1824) was a signer of the united states constitution, a south carolina governor, a U.S. congressman, and a U.S. senator. today the site of snee farm is a national historic park. the original pinckney plantation house was demolished in 1828 four years after pinckney's death. the current plantation house was built in 1828. picnkney owned fourty slaves and the foundations of three slave cabins can be seen at the park today. for those interested in early american history and southern culture the charles pinckney historic site is worth a visit in the charleston area.
magnolia plantation was established in 1676 by thomas drayton. from the late 1600's to 1865 magnolia planation was a rice plantation. in the 1840's john drayton laid out an english garden using azaleas, camellias, and dogwoods. today magnolia plantation has one of the most beautiful azalea gardens in north america. during the civil war the plantation house was possibly burned by union troops or more probably by newly freed slaves. the plantation house you see today was moved to the plantation from summerville south carolina after the civil war. the best time of the year to visit magnolia plantation is mid to late april when the azaleas and dogwoods are in full bloom. magnolia plantation is listed on the national register of historic places. for more images see my magnolia plantation travelogue.
middleton place plantation was established by john williams in the 1730's. in 1741 william's daughter married henry middleton whose name was subsequently applied to the plantation. at one point in time henry middleton owned twenty plantations consisting of over 50,000 acres and 800 slaves. henry middleton was once the wealtiest planter in south carolina. henry middleton's son arthur was one of the signers of the declaration of independence. during the revolutionary war british troops looted middleton place. in february 1865 union troops burned part of the main house and in 1886 an earthquake destroyed the remainder of the mansion. today the plantation guest house is all that remains of the original plantation home. middleton place is one of the most beautiful plantations in north american and is well worth a visit for those interested in american history and southern culture. middleton place is listed on the national register of historic places.
drayton hall is a plantation house built for john drayton in 1742. dayton was a indigo and rice planter on the ashley river during the 18 th century. drayton hall is considered the finest example of palladian architecture in north america. drayton hall is a national historic landmark and is also listed on the national register of historic places. for those interersted in colonial architecture and southern culture drayton hall is well worth a visit when charleston. for images of the grounds of drayton hall plantation see my drayton hall travelogue.
While visiting the Magnolia Plantation, be sure to tour the Audubon Swamp Gardens. Here is a prime example of low-country swamp, with a huge array of wildlife. Walking along the trail and the boardwalk, one can observe many species of plants and animals. If you like swamps, then this is the one to see.
Directions are for travellers coming from Charleston.
Although Middleton Plantation lacks the soaring columns and antebellum flavor of some, it does offer lovely grounds, demonstrations of various crafts such as weaving and blacksmithing (pic #5), giving you access to its stableyards and slave cabin, plus an opportunity to learn more of this distinguished Southern family. The Middleton's ran a rice plantation with the help of many hands.
There were originally three buildings comprising this residence, the main home and two flanker buildings, one of which still stands. All that remains of the main house is a pile of rubble designating the site--Union army damage from 1865.
The tour of the lone building (shown in picture) captures genteel life in the 1700's. You'll wander through a main room, dining room, music room (my favorite) and library. Be sure to note the difference between a light and airy summer bedroom and cozy winter bedroom setup.
As we toured the gardens with a guide (pics #2 & #4), we were directed towards a huge old live oak which is documented to be several hundred years old (pic #3). A wide view of the Butterfly Lakes with the 1851 Rice Mill and the Ashley River beyond is priceless!
*General admission (Gardens and Stableyards)--adults $20.00; children age 7-15 $5.00; age 6 and under free; General admission and House Tour--adults $30; children age 7-15 $15.00.
*Hours daily from 9am-5pm, closed Christmas Day only
You'll probably be here for a few hours so bring a cooler or a bagged lunch with you. I saw many families having picnics here. There is a cafe on the plantation grounds, but the food is not of good quality.
You'll see many birds and animals on the plantation grounds. There are horses and peacocks in front of the plantation house. There's also a petting zoo. Keep your eyes open when wandering in the gardens. You might spot alligators, turtles, herons, and who knows what else.
It's worth coming to the plantation for the gardens alone. There are old mossy trees, flowers, swamps (with alligators) , sculptures, bridges, mazes, and even a tomb where some plantation family ancestors are buried. A lot of the gardens are old so they have a wild and enchanted look to them rather than a manicured one. You can explore for hours, and the beauty is amazing. This would also be a good place to come with children.
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