December 4, 2017

Take a Photo Tour of Charleston's Drayton Hall

Established in 1738, Drayton Hall is an icon of colonial America architecture and identity and a National Trust Historic Site. The main house remains in nearly original condition after seven generations of family ownership, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and devastating hurricanes and earthquakes. The main house was never modernized with electric lighting, plumbing, or central heating or air conditioning and is unfurnished, allowing the beauty of its architectural details to become the focus for visitors. Surrounded by ancient live oaks and bordered by the historic Ashley River, the entire site—including the historic grounds with its broad vistas, vanished structures, and rare period features—serves as a testimony to American history.

You can visit Drayton Hall and enjoy its wide selection of guided house tours and programs, including the annual Distinguished Speakers Series. But before you plan out your next trip, take this virtual tour to get a taste of the site's full glory.

Drayton Hall's 27-foot-high stair hall, carved from mahogany.

photo by: Drayton Hall Preservation Trust/Willie Graham

The 27-foot-high stair hall provides an impressive entrance for guests arriving at Drayton Hall. Carved from mahogany and stained with vermillion, the railing and brackets are examples of the overwhelming attention given to architectural detail within the main house.

Preservation Magazine: A Curious Attic Find: Drayton Hall's Watercolors

Anyone who has ever watched "Antiques Roadshow" dreams of stumbling across a hidden treasure in a dusty attic. Descendants of the 18th-century plantation owner John Drayton did exactly that, finding a portfolio of watercolors on the top floor of a family member’s house in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1969.

The Draytons' growth chart, kept from the 1880s to present day.

photo by: Drayton Hall Preservation Trust

Within a first-floor room, a growth chart marks the heights of generations of Draytons from the 1880s to the present day. Charlotta Drayton (1884–1969) also kept a growth chart for her dogs, including her beloved Bull Terrier, Nipper.

Drayton Hall's African-American cemetery.

photo by: Drayton Hall Preservation Trust/Leslie McKeller

The final resting place of at least forty individuals, enslaved and free, Drayton Hall’s African-American Cemetery is one of the oldest documented African-American cemeteries in the nation still in use. In keeping with the wishes of Richmond Bowens, a descendant of the enslaved at Drayton Hall, the cemetery has been “left natural,” not manicured or planted with grass or decorative shrubs.

By: Lauren Nivens

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