Drayton Hall is the only plantation house on the Ashley River ‘plantation row’ to survive intact through both the Revolutionary and Civil wars, it is a National Historic Landmark. The river was the highway between the original 1600’s rice plantations and wealthy Charleston, South Carolina.
While very rural at the time the homes were designed, and built, like Renaissance architect, only better. Rice was like gold for centuries.
The entrances of plantations, like the grand manors in Charleston, were meant to immediately impress visitors. Actually many of the Charleston manors were owned by the plantations.
The details are incredible. Even more so when you consider they are from the era of 1600 – 1700.
Unfortunately the second floor here is closed for maintenance. Vibrations from the floor above are damaging the plaster design ceilings. It turns out the original design had a flaw, not enough open space between the wooden floors and plaster work. It only took 300 years for the damage to start.
A few more trips are needed to photograph the back room details. We do have access to the building and live nearby. Light and weather are the main consideration.
Best viewed large, the house is very impressive.
Drayton Hall, Ashley River, Charleston, South Carolina.
Drayton the only plantation house on the Ashley River to survive intact through both the Revolutionary and Civil wars. The other main Charleston plantations a few miles upriver did not escape major damage.
The mansion was built for John Drayton starting around 1738. He was the third son of the Drayton family and would never inherit the family home of Magnolia Plantation 3 miles away.
The attached ‘flanker buildings did not survive the earthquake of 1886 (estimated to be a 7.3 register, perhaps the largest in US history) or the hurricane of 1893.
Rice and indigo were the main crops, the actual fields and holdings were here and all along the South Carolina Lowcountry.
The land and building are now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and managed by the Drayton Hall Preservation Trust.
The property, house, and out buildings are maintained in a state of preservation, which is an ongoing project since it’s all close to 300 years old.