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Lightwood is an elegant eighteenth-century plantation house nestled in an ancient beech forest in rural Surry County, Virginia. The estate comprises over one hundred acres of woods, meadows, and streams, and is part of the land given by Chief Powhatan to Pocahontas and John Rolfe as a wedding gift. Lightwood House was the center of a prosperous tobacco plantation, and the home of a Revolutionary War soldier and his family. Built in four different periods circa 1760 to 1795, Lightwood House is completely restored and features exceptional, detailed woodwork and authentic furnishings, yet also offers all modern conveniences including, a jetted tub, satellite TV, and WIFI.
While the surroundings are completely rural and secluded, the house is only one-and-a-half miles from the town of Surry, where basic essentials are available, and three-and-a-half miles to the 24-hour, 20-minute, free car ferry ride to Jamestown and Williamsburg. From the ferry dock on the other side of the James River, Jamestown is one-half mile, and Colonial Williamsburg six miles away.
The house has five bedrooms, two large bathrooms, one upstairs and one downstairs, one of which features a marble walk-in shower and six-foot whirlpool bathtub, a living room, dining room that seats up to 10 comfortably), large classical entrance hall, fully equipped kitchen, laundry room, four fireplaces (three with gas logs or stoves), and back porch, for a total of 2400 square feet. Upstairs there are two larger bedrooms, each with a queen-sized canopy bed, one double bed in a smaller room, and two twin beds in an attic room adjoining one of the queen bedrooms. Downstairs there is a small bedroom with a double bed.
The house is furnished with antiques from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and early-nineteenth centuries. A picket-fenced back yard with period outbuildings, including a smokehouse used to smoke the hams for the coronation feast of King Edward VII, completes the scene. Two miles of nature trails meander through the woods and meadows of Lightwood Forest, and offer a close look at local wildlife, which includes deer, turkeys, foxes, turtles, hawks, owls, woodpeckers, and bald eagles. Lightwood offers a private setting and a truly unique and exciting opportunity to step back into another time, all the while enjoying the comforts of the twenty-first century.
NEW FOR SPRING, 2015- WEDDINGS AND EVENTS
We are offering Lightwood as a wedding location beginning in the Spring of 2015. A wedding at Lightwood includes the exclusive use of the house and grounds for up to 50 people (10 maximum for overnight lodging). $1500.00 fee includes use of the house and grounds for two days (check in the day before the wedding, 4:00 PM or after) and two nights stay for up to 10 guests. Available for weddings during the months of April, May, September, October and November. Please email or call for details.
The historic museums of Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown are only a short drive and free, 24-hour, 20-minute car ferry ride away. All three attractions are connected by the beautiful Colonial Parkway, which begins at Jamestown where the ferry docks, follows the banks of the James and York Rivers, passes through Williamsburg and ends at Yorktown and the Chesapeake Bay. Many important historic Civil War sites are within an hours drive, in the Richmond/Petersburg area.
River-front beaches can be found in Surry at Chippokes Plantation State Park, at Jamestown on the James River, and at Yorktown on the York River leading to the Chesapeake Bay. Virginia Beach itself is only a little over an hour's drive away. Williamsburg is also the home of Busch Gardens and Water Country USA theme parks. Surry County attractions include Bacon's Castle--America's finest seventeenth-century manor house; Smith's Fort Plantation, the site of Captain John Smith's fort of 1609 as well as a lovely 1760s brick house; and Chippokes Plantation State Park, with historic buildings, Olympic-sized pool, and riverfront beach. Boat rentals are available at the Chickahominy River County Park in Williamsburg/James City County.
The historic waterfront town of Smithfield, and seventeenth-century Saint Luke's Church, is a 20-minute drive away. Well-known James River plantations, open to the public, are an easy 45-minute drive and can be found along Route #5, which winds through Charles City County. Richmond is over an hour's drive, and Washington D.C., can be reached in around 3 hours (depending on NOVA/I-95 traffic conditions.)
Queen size Beds (2) Two larger bedrooms upstairs with a queen bed in each room., Double Beds (2) One small bedroom upstairs with a double bed, and one small bedroom downstairs with a double bed., Twin or Single Beds (2) There is one attic room with two twin beds. The attic room adjoins one of the queen bedrooms. In order to get to the upstairs bath from the attic room one needs to go through the queen bedroom. The rooms act as a kind of family suite....moreless
Fireplaces, Free U.S. Long Distance Phone Calls, WIFI, Central Air and Heat, VCR and videotapes (good children's selection), CD Player and CDs, DVD Player and DVDs, Coffee Maker, Large Crockpot, Down Comforters, Harpsichord/Spinet, Two Canopy Beds (Queen Sized), Two Double Beds, and Two Twin Beds, Walking Trails, Booster Seat, High Chair, Children's Playground (Outside Toys, Swings, Slide, and Play Tower), Children's Indoor Toy Closet, Children's Books....moreless
Spring/Summer/Fall 2015 Apr 1 - Dec 31, 2015 3 night min stay
* Approximate Monthly rates, actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay
Additional information about rental rates
Weddings and events- Weddings for up to 50 people. $1500.00 fee includes two days (check in 4:00 PM the day before the wedding) and overnight lodging for up to 10 guests for two nights. Please call or email for details.
A $500.00 fee is added to any stays including Thanksgiving or December 23,24,25 or 26.
We ask for a 20% deposit, with the balance due 60 days before arrival.
A 100% refund is given if cancellation is made more than 60 days before reserved dates. After 60 days we will give a refund if we can re-book the dates. Trip cancellation insurance is recommended.
Rates include all taxes and any other fees.
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About the owner: Lightwood is owned by Joy Weatherley Williams and Cliff Williams. Joy is from County Durham in north-east England, spent part of her childhood in Zambia, and came to Virginia in 1982 to attend Saint Margaret's School in Tappahannock. She attended the University of Richmond, graduating in 1987, and then the College of William and Mary where she received her Master's degree in Early American history. Cliff, with old Virginia family roots, spent part of his childhood in Hawaii, attended Indiana University School of Music, and came to work for Colonial Williamsburg as a musician in 1974. He bought Lightwood in 1978 and, during the time spent restoring it, also worked as an operatic baritone, singing principal roles at such places as the Santa Fe Opera, Barcelona's Teatro Gran Liceo, and the Vienna Staatsoper. He and Joy married in 1989, and lived at Lightwood with their sons Andrew and Thomas until 2003. After moving to Williamsburg, they opened Lightwood House in 2004 as a vacation rental and have enjoyed sharing it with guests from around the world ever since.
Why the Owner Chose Williamsburg: Since the age of ten, I had always wanted to restore an historic house. Several years after moving to Williamsburg to work for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, I discovered Lightwood House, abandoned and forlorn in rural, unspoiled Surry County, on the south side of the James River. The house was in an advanced state of deterioration but still had great possibilities. I began the work in 1978 and after 10 years had made considerable progress. However, it was not until I married Joy that her influence truly civilized the old place and made it what it is today. Having worked for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation for many years, I was familiar with the love that visitors to the area have for Colonial American history. With Williamsburg nearby, it seemed likely that an eighteenth-century plantation house could be enjoyed by guests as a home base from which to discover Virginia's historic sites.
The Unique Benefits at this Estate: Staying at Lightwood is truly a unique and extraordinary experience, and visiting the property can be a vacation in itself. There are few places in the United States where it is possible to be so immersed at once in both colonial history and nature. Guests enter a different world after passing through the gates leading to Lightwood, and stepping into the entrance hall is like traveling back in time to the early days of our nation. And although the feel of history is everywhere at Lightwood, all modern conveniences expected in the twenty-first century are provided. The extensive grounds and walking trails at Lightwood are a nature lover's (and a dog's) paradise, and many other historic and scenic sites and attractions are close by. Guests can visit Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown from the comfort and luxury of their own eighteenth-century plantation.