Eighteenth-Century Plantation House in Private 100 Acre Forest Park

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Last updated: 12/01/2015
Check availability
23 Available
21 Unavailable
22 Today
23 Selected dates
  • Minimum stay:1-3 nights
  • Internet:Yes
  • Pets considered:Yes
  • Wheel chair accessible:No

Property description

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.


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.)

Keywords: House/Estate


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Property Type

  • Estate
  • 2400 sq. ft.

Accommodation Type

  • Vacation Rental


  • Guests Provide Their Own Meals


  • Minimum Age Limit For Renters:


  • Children Welcome:

    Children's toys, puzzles, games, videos, and books. Outdoor playground with swings, slide, play tower, rocking horse, and sand box....moreless

  • Wheelchair Inaccessible:

    Lightwood is an 18th century house, with idiosyncrasies, steep steps and some uneven floors. It is not well suited for the infirm....moreless

Bedrooms: 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10, Beds for 10

  • Bedroom 1: 1 queen


  • Bedroom 2: 1 queen


  • Bedroom 3: 1 double


  • Bedroom 4: 1 double


  • Bedroom 5: 2 twin/ single


  • 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

Bathrooms: 2 Bathrooms

Other Amenities

  • Fireplaces, Free U.S. Long Distance Phone Calls, WIFI, sattelite TV ,,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, , 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


  • Books
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Toys
  • VCR
  • Video Library:

    Excellent selection....moreless


  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions


  • Churches
  • Cinemas
  • Live Theater
  • Museums
  • Restaurants
  • Theme Parks
  • Water Parks

Local Services & Businesses

  • ATM/Bank

Leisure Activities

  • Antiquing
  • Bird Watching
  • Miniature Golf
  • Shopping
  • Sight Seeing
  • Walking
  • Wildlife Viewing

Location Type

  • Rural

Sports & Adventure Activities

  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Swimming


  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining:

    The dining room dates from 1760, and has a large fireplace, 9 foot trestle table and other antiques. It is a wonderful place for a traditional feast....moreless

  • Dining Area
  • Seating for 10 people


  • Heating:

    Heat pump and gas furnace....moreless

  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet


  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster


  • Deck / Patio
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill

Pool / Spa

  • Jetted Tub:

    There is a large (6 foot) jetted tub in the downstairs bath. This bathroom also has a large walk-in marble shower....moreless



Write a review 5
from 56 traveler reviews
Rental basis: Per property
Dates Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Spring/Summer/Fall 2015
Apr 1 - Dec 31, 2015
3 night min stay
$2,625 $9,200
Jan 1 - Mar 31, 2016
3 night min stay
Apr 1 - Dec 31, 2016
3 night min stay
* Approximate Monthly rates, actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay

Additional information about rental rates


  • Taxes Not included


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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Last updated: 12/01/2015
Check availability
23 Available
21 Unavailable
22 Today
23 Selected dates



Owner info

Year Purchased: 1978

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.

Contact us

Speaks: english

Guestbook comments from the owner

1 of 213


  • Living Room, Circa 1795

    Living Room, Circa 1795

  • Entrance Hall

    Entrance Hall

  • Blue Bedroom

    Blue Bedroom

  • Yellow Bedroom

    Yellow Bedroom

  • Lightwood in Winter

    Lightwood in Winter

  • Back Patio and Porch

    Back Patio and Porch

  • Autumn in Lightwood Forest

    Autumn in Lightwood Forest

  • Back View of House and Outbuildings

    Back View of House and Outbuildings

  • House in Autumn

    House in Autumn

  • Deck the Hall

    Deck the Hall

  • Back of Hall

    Back of Hall

  • Front Gates

    Front Gates

  • Living Room Circa 1795

    Living Room Circa 1795

  • Blue Bedroom

    Blue Bedroom

  • Kitchen


  • Lightwood Lane and Front Garden

    Lightwood Lane and Front Garden

  • Back Garden

    Back Garden

  • Meadow Along Nature Trail

    Meadow Along Nature Trail

  • Outbuilding in Fall

    Outbuilding in Fall

  • Christmas


  • Well House

    Well House

  • Lightwood Gates

    Lightwood Gates

VRBO #44012

This listing was first published here in 2004.

Date last modified - Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Minimum stay: 1-3 nights
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Member since: 2004
Speaks: english
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  • Response time Within a few hours
  • Response rate 100%
  • Calendar last updated 12/01/2015

(757) 345-0576 (Virginia, USA)

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Eighteenth-Century Plantation House In Private 100 Acre Forest Park

Williamsburg #44012

5 BR  2 BA  Sleeps 10

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