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.
Drayton Hall is the only Ashley River Plantation that has survived both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. It was purchased from the Drayton Family in 1974 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The house was never modernized and has remained as it was over 200 years ago. What makes this plantation so interesting that what we see today is what existed over 200 years ago. No modern amenities (plumbing, electricity, heat, running water) are present in the house and the National Trust is dilligently working on preserving the interior and exterior properties as they were during the 1700's.
Drayton Hall is the only plantation house on the Ashley River to survive the Revolutionary and Civil Wars intact. After seven generations, two great wars, numerous hurricanes and earthquakes; the main house of this National Historic Landmark remains in nearly original condition. A professionally guided house tour is included in the general admission price. Tours begin on the hour and last 50 minutes. Topics covered on each tour include architecture, historic preservation, African American life, and family life. All three levels of the house are included.
The tour which we took quite unwillingly (my husband hates old house tours and tourguides) turned out to be fabulous!!! It was far more interesting than what we could anticipate. Also, it was the best preserved plantation house that I saw in the area, besides it was built in such a genuine way that it survived hundreds of hurricanes. Great educational experience, and the tourguide was absolutely cool!