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Eighteenth-Century Plantation House In Private 100 Acre Forest Park

Bedrooms 5
Space 2,400 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

Estate, 5 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, (Sleeps 1-10) 100 private acres

Williamsburg Area, Surry VA. Williamsburg Area's Highest Guest Rated Vacation Rental And Third Highest In Virginia On VRBO/Homeaway! 69 Five Star Reviews!

Lightwood is an elegant eighteenth-century plantation house nestled in an ancient beech forest in rural Surry County, Virginia, and is one of America's most beautiful and unique historic vacation rentals. 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 we are waiting for a link approval on this site, you can still view a slide show of Lightwood on youtube by searching for Lightwood House. "Williamsburg Area Historic Vacation Rental, Lightwood House" will come up.

Children love Lightwood House, with its many nooks and crannies to explore. While the house has many antiques, the furniture is sturdy (one could almost dance a jig on the dining room table without doing any harm) and we have never had a problem with damage by enthusiastic little ones. So please don't worry about turning kids loose in the house, as long as obvious and normal precautions are taken (like no ball games inside etc.)

Recent additions to Lightwood include four long case "Grandfather" clocks, two of which are over 300 years old. The bells are silenced when guests are there, and they can easily be stopped if the ticking bothers anyone.

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, 18-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 and two large bathrooms (the downstairs bathroom features a marble walk-in shower and six-foot whirlpool bathtub), a living room, dining room that seats up to ten 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. It is truly a place of beauty, peace, and tranquility.



We now offer space for weddings and other events. Our introductory offer: Friday, 12:00 PM to Sunday 12:00 PM, with overnight stays for up to six, $2,450.00 - $2,950.00, depending on time of year. Includes wedding ceremony area and space for up to a 40X80 tent for receptions and dinners.


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 hour's 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 Historic Route 5, which winds through Charles City County. Richmond is over an hour's drive, and Washington D.C., can be reached in around three hours (depending on NOVA/I-95 traffic conditions


Keywords: House/Estate

More Details

Cliff and Joy Williams
Member since: 2004
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
June 26, 2017

About Cliff and Joy Williams

Lightwood is owned by Joy and Cliff Williams. Joy is from County Durham in north-east England, spent part of her childhood in Zambia, and came to Virginia to attend Saint Margaret's School in Tappahannock. She graduated from the University of Richmond and later received her Master's degree in Early American History from the College of William and Mary. 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 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.

Cliff and Joy Williams purchased this house in 1978

Why Cliff and Joy Williams chose Virginia

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 ten years had made considerable progress. However, it was not until I married Joy that her influence truly civilized the old place and turned it into the gem 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.

What makes this house unique

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.

Guestbook comments from the owner

"There was once a group of eight friends,

Who decided to go on a binge.

They rented a charming plantation,

So they could eat and drink on their vacation.

It rained most of the time,

But there was no need to whine.

We giggled and laughed, played games and danced,

So everything turned out just fine!"
Apr 2017
  • 1 of 244


Spring Grove House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2400 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 10
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • pets considered ...
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • Rural ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Fireplace
  • Free Long Distance ...
  • Gas Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 10 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 -
    Bathroom 2 -
  • Both bathrooms are spacious. The upstairs bath has a tub/shower arrangement. The downstairs bath has a six-foot jetted tub, as well as a separate walk-in marble-tiled shower, with a built-in marble bench.
  • 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 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-size 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 bathroom from the Attic room, one needs to go through the Queen bedroom. The rooms act as a kind of family suite.
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Music Library ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible ...
Pool / Spa:
  • jetted tub ...
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • theme parks
  • water parks
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • miniature golf
  • outlet shopping
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • swimming
Fireplaces, Free U.S. Long Distance Phone Calls, WIFI, sattelite TV Central Air and Heat, VCR , DVD player and DVDs, Coffee Maker, Large Crockpot, Comforters , Two Canopy Beds (Queen Sized), Two Double Beds, and Two Twin Beds, Walking Trails, Booster Seat, Children's Playground (Outside Toys, Swings, Slide, and Play Tower), Children's Indoor Toy Closet, Children's Books.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(71 traveler reviews)

Eighteenth-Century Plantation House In Private 100 Acre Forest Park
average rating of 5.0 based on 315 reviews

Our Own 100-Acre Wood!

  • 5 of 5

My family and I had a truly memorable stay at Lightwood for our spring break. We were excited about this unique property and having our own space, compared to a hotel, yet it was very easy and exciting for the kids to take the ferry to enjoy Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown.

While booking, I mentioned to Cliff (Lightwood’s owner) that my son had asked if this was Winnie-the-Pooh’s 100 Acre Wood and he surprised us by turning the property into just that. There was a “Hunny” pot with Piglet’s red balloon greeting us at the door, a stump turned into Pooh’s house - complete with the Sanders sign - and little clues along the trails and throughout the property. My 7 and 9-year-old spent so much time hiking through the woods, running around the yard and fields, using the playset, pretending and exploring, and all with the safety and freedom of a secluded property that they do not get in the city.

The house itself was clean and had a well-stocked kitchen. Please take a moment to explore all the paintings, antiques and secret passage ways throughout the house. It feels as if you are staying in a historic Williamsburg home. Cliff is almost finished preparing the property to host weddings and other large gatherings, and what a perfect location to do just that!!!!

Cliff, thank you for the wonderful historic tour of the property upon arrival, and all the thought that you have put into your home. It is clearly a labor of love!

  • Submitted: Apr 5, 2017
  • Stayed: Mar 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: A wonderful family with sweet, polite and history loving children. What a pleasure to meet them, and to have them as guests!
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5 0

Wonderful Historic Home near Williamsburg

  • 5 of 5

My family and I stayed at Surry House in mid June of 2017 and had a wonderful time. The property is secluded and on a beautiful large wooded parcel. The house has many antiques and some beautiful grandfather clocks. We felt as if we had stepped back in time. The house is very close to Jamestown and Williamsburg across the James River. The ferry crossing was very convenient and my kids enjoyed the rides back and forth. What was a real pleasure for my wife and I was the peace and quiet of the property. The areas around Williamsburg and Jamestown are developed and very populated, while the town of Surry is rustic and peaceful. We would recommend the house to anyone looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the tourists areas, but be within easy striking range of them. It was an ideal location for us and the house was very comfortable.

  • Submitted: Jun 20, 2017
  • Stayed: Jun 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Incredible Property and Amazing Experience

  • 5 of 5

It is really difficult to put into words our stay at Lightwood. The house is so unique and to a history lover it is a hidden treasure. We came for a short visit to the Williamsburg area and Lightwood contributed in a big way to being immersed in the 18th century. The home, dating to about 1760, is furnished in period decor and antiques, yet has enough modern conveniences to make it totally liveable and comfortable. The house is secluded, yet close enough to restaurants and stores and is a simple drive to the historic areas of Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown. Access to these areas is by the Scotland-Jamestown ferry, which adds to the experience.

The owner, Cliff, bent over backwards to make sure our stay was everything we wanted it to be. He was extremely responsive in his communication and was very accessible by phone if we needed him.

If you are planning a visit to the area, I cannot imagine a better place to stay than Lightwood. We are returning to Lightwood in August with our family and cannot wait. Lightwood will be high on our priority list to come back year after year. Thanks, Cliff, for making our stay such a wonderful and memorable experience.

Note: If you stay at Lightwood, keep your eyes peeled for the fairies. You just never know what they are up to. :-)

  • Submitted: Jun 18, 2017
  • Stayed: Jun 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Do not hesitate to book this lovely property.

  • 5 of 5

Recently our family rented Joy and Cliff William's beautiful, and very personal, property Lightwood House in Surry, VA. We wanted our grandson to experience the history of our nation's beginning at Jamestown and Williamsburg. Staying at Lightwood House extended that experience for all of us. We didn't just visit the past. We felt we had stepped into the past. The house is very much like country homes one finds in Great Britain but with a decidedly Virginia influence. The gardens were lovely. (Having the property around the house fenced in was a bonus for our dogs.) We had no trouble taking the ferry across the James. In fact it added to our experience especailly for our grandson. We were very happy we decided to book the property for eight days. We had looked at this property for a couple of years and finally decided to plan this trip. Do not hesitate to book a stay at Lightwood House. You will not regret a minute of your stay here.

  • Submitted: May 21, 2017
  • Stayed: May 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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3 0
New Jersey


  • 5 of 5

What a beautiful property. We are from NJ and a total of 8 women stayed here for 5 days. We also had the pleasure of meeting Cliff, who is such a nice person and really takes pride in keeping this plantation house and grounds up to par. Even though the house is nestled on a hundred acres of woods, it's still relatively close to many attractions. We had a blast going to Bush Gardens, shopping and eating in the town of Smithfield, escaping with 9 minutes to spare from the 'Colonial Escape Room' in Williamsburg, walking the beach at Chippokes State Park, ferry rides and shopping in Williamsburg.

Even though we visited other places, the best part was being together at this unique historic plantation house. The character and history behind this property surpasses many other vacation rentals we have stayed at. We hiked around the grounds, cooked meals, relaxed and explored the house and its history. Later in the evenings our vocal point was sitting around the beautiful massive wooden dining room table playing games, having drinks, talking and laughing. What memories we made here!! Thank you Joy and Cliff.

The NJ Girls.......

Arlene, Beth, Carol, Denise, Denise, Donna, Dora, Mags

  • Submitted: May 11, 2017
  • Stayed: Apr 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks- You were great fun to meet, and it was a pleasure having you as guests. Joy and I are so glad that you enjoyed yourselves. We agree that Lightwood is a very special place. Thanks!
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2 0

Our new place to stay when visiting Williamsburg.

  • 5 of 5

This place was perfect for us! I selfishly want to keep it a secret so that it is available for our next visit. :)

  • Submitted: Mar 9, 2017
  • Stayed: Mar 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for the nice words. It was a pleasure having you as guests!
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4 0


Nearest Ferry
3.5 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
1 Miles
Nearest Beach
5 Miles
Car: necessary


Rates & Availability

Spring Grove House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Spring, Summer Fall, 2017
May 21 2017 - Jan 1 2018
3 night minimum stay
Winter, 2018
Jan 2 2018 - Mar 31 2018
3 night minimum stay
Spring, Summer, Fall. 2018
Apr 1 2018 - Dec 31 2018
3 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

If mid-week dates are still available (Monday through Thursday) 10 days or less before your planned trip, feel free to make a reasonable offer. (3 night minimum)

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
Contact Owner

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