Drayton Hall is a National Trust Historic site resting on 630 lovely acres. The building was completed in 1742; today it ... More
Drayton Hall is a National Trust Historic site resting on 630 lovely acres. The building was completed in 1742; today it stands as a quality example of Georgian-Palladian architecture. Owned by the Drayton family for seven generations, the house remains close to its original condition. Drayton Hall regularly hosts school field trips. Admission: USD12 Adults; USD8 Youth ages 12-18; USD6 Children ages 6-11; children under age 6 are free. Grounds-only tickets are USD3. Military discount is USD2, AAA discount is USD1. Tours are on the hour beginning at 10am. Check the website for further details.
We went in December and it was unusually cold. Perhaps that colored our experience but we felt snookered. The house is empty. If you have visited other historic buildings and are familiar with the architecture, there isn't much to see or to learn.
Hats off to the people who felt history but my personal feeling is that the people who lived here did not exist in an empty box. I want to see what THEY saw, not a bunch of walls, sanded so I can see 7 layers of paint. Only watching the actual paint dry would have been more boring.
If you do not speak the code of "preserved" as opposed to "restored", you may not realize that this means empty and abandoned looking. And they never plan to do anything else with it! There are many other similar historic buildings in the Charleston area, such as the Aiken-Rhett house. I've never been in a crack house, but aside from the grafitti, I imagine they look a lot like these empty shells.
I really expected more. I didn't realize we would be going to an absolutely barren old home. We looked at old paint, and the only interesting thing about the house was a story about one of the children who kept the heights of her dogs etched into the wood. I will say the trees outside were beautiful. We stayed for the for the whole tour only because it was so expensive, but others kept on running out during the tour.
Drayton Hall was a relaxing tour. It was nice to walk the grounds and just enjoy it without be nagged but a tour guide. Then when we did have our tour, he was very knowledgable. He talked somewhat fast, so it was hard to keep up on all the details. I would not take teenagers unless you know they would enjoy it. We didn't take our teenage boys, but other families had theirs and the kids looked bored. Great visit and money well spent.
One of my favorite homes. A walk back in time. Although it is not furnished. It is wonderful in the fact that it is just as it was 200 years ago. No running water or elect. Same paint on the walls as it did when hoop skirts were in style. Just don't touch the walls! The guides will frown upon that.
I visited Drayton Hall about 15 years ago and still talk about it!
Actually I hate history....and ,forgive me, American history is the worst (for me). Having said that, I had goosebumps when in that house. You can actually FEEL the age and history...and all the people and life...and dare I say it ...ghosts!
I highly recommend a tour of this house.
The grounds are southernly beautiful, but it doesn't have all the flowers like other plantations. It is unfurnished, so there is not a lot to look at. Just being there and thinking about how many years it's been standing and all the things that had happened was interesting to me. I imagine living and working on the plantation and I bet the summer heat was unbearable. I know from a close friend that has done work at Drayton Hall that this place gets visitors in the night from the past, if you are into that kinda thing. I would recommend visiting if you've got the time. Make sure to check out Middleton Plantation as well.
The most fascinating thing about it was that it was all history and no pretense. When I went it was not furnished at all. They were actually working on some moulding on the ceiling with scaffolding in the middle of the floor.
The stories about the house and the Drayton family were captivating. You could sense the history when you walked through the rooms.
When I tell people that I'm from Charleston they usually respond with the desire to go there. I always tell them that when they do they should put Drayton Hall on their itinerary.
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