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Eighteenth-Century Plantation House in Private 100 Acre Forest Park

(66 Reviews)

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Last updated: 03/22/2017
Check availability
23 Available
21 Unavailable
22 Today
23 Selected dates
  • Minimum stay:3 nights
  • Sleeps:10
  • Bedrooms:5
  • Bathrooms:2
  • Property type:House
  • Internet:Yes
  • Pets considered:Yes
  • Wheel chair accessible:No

About the Property

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

Williamsburg Area, Surry VA.

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 offer space for weddings and other events. For details and pricing, please contact us.

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
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Member since: 2004

Speaks: english
Response time: Within an hour
Response Rate: 100%
Calendar last updated: 03/22/2017

Property Type

  • House
  • 2400 sq. ft.

House Rules

  • Max. occupancy 10
  • Events Allowed
  • Minimum Age Limit For Renters:

    25+ . Under 25 welcomed with responsible adults. ...moreless

  • Children Welcome:

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

Accommodation Type

  • Vacation Rental


  • Guests Provide Their Own Meals


  • Wheelchair Inaccessible:

    Lightwood is an eighteenth-century house, and consequently has some idiosyncrasies not seen in a modern house, such as steep staircases, low doorways, and some uneven floors. It is not well suited for the infirm or disabled. ...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-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....moreless

Bathrooms: 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....moreless

Other Amenities

  • 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....moreless


  • Music Library:

    Traditional folk and classical CDs available...moreless

  • Satellite / Cable:


  • Stereo:

    CDs can be played through the living room DVD player....moreless

  • Television:

    Satellite TV in living room and two bedrooms...moreless

  • Toys:

    Toys and books in upstairs closet and cupboards....moreless


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


  • Churches
  • Cinemas
  • Festivals
  • Library
  • Live Theater
  • Marina
  • Museums
  • Playground
  • Restaurants
  • Ruins
  • Theme Parks
  • Water Parks
  • Winery Tours

Local Services & Businesses

  • ATM/Bank

Leisure Activities

  • Antiquing
  • Bird Watching
  • Boating
  • Miniature Golf
  • Outlet Shopping
  • Photography
  • Scenic Drives
  • Shopping
  • Sight Seeing
  • Walking
  • Wildlife Viewing

Location Type

  • Rural:

    The house is surrounded by 100 private acres of meadows, streams, and ancient forest. There are over two miles of hiking trails....moreless

Sports & Adventure Activities

  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Swimming


  • Dining:

    The dining room dates from 1760 and has a large fireplace, nine-foot foot trestle table, and other antiques. It is a wonderful place for a traditional dinner feast. Child's booster seat is provided....moreless

  • Dining Room
  • Seating for 10 people


  • Air Conditioning:

    Central Air...moreless

  • Clothes Dryer:

    Electric clothes dryer....moreless

  • Fireplace
  • Free Long Distance:

    Free US long distance...moreless

  • Gas Fireplace:

    Very realistic gas fireplaces--one open log fireplace in the dining room, realistic gas log stoves in living room and kitchen....moreless

  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating:

    Heat pump and gas furnace....moreless

  • Internet:

    WIFI provided...moreless

  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided:

    All bed linens, towels, washcloths etc. provided...moreless

  • Living Room
  • Parking:

    There is plenty of parking for all size and manner of vehicle....moreless

  • Telephone:

    Telephone in Hall...moreless

  • Towels Provided:

    Towels and washcloths provided...moreless

  • Washing Machine:

    Plays a jaunty little tune when cycle is complete....moreless

  • Wireless Internet:

    WIFI provided...moreless


  • Coffee Maker:

    Coffee maker and coffee press provided...moreless

  • Cooking Utensils:

    Pots and pans, all necessary kitchen utensils, crockpot, electric water kettle, toaster, coffee pot/press, etc....moreless

  • Dishes & Utensils:

    All dishes and utensils provided....moreless

  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen:

    Equipped with dishes, pots and pans, flatware, glasses, mugs, etc. There is an electric stove, a microwave, coffee maker, coffee press, coffee grinder, electric water kettle, and crockpot....moreless

  • Microwave:

    Microwave provided...moreless

  • Oven:


  • Pantry Items:

    We do not provide any form of food or spices....moreless


  • Deck / Patio:

    Two patios. One large bricked-in patio at back of house. Outdoor table, bench, chairs, and chaise long. Another large bricked-in patio area at front of the house. Outdoor table, stools, and bench....moreless

  • Golf:

    Golf available in Williamsburg...moreless

  • Kayak / Canoe:

    Rentals available in Williamsburg...moreless

  • Lawn / Garden:

    There is a large fenced-in front and back yard and extensive grounds, as well as children's swings, slides, sandbox, and play tower....moreless

Pool / Spa

  • Jetted Tub:

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



Write a review 5
from 66 traveler reviews
Rental basis: Per property
Dates Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Winter 2017
Jan 2 - Mar 31, 2017
3 night min stay
Apr 1 - Dec 31, 2017
3 night min stay
My Standard Rate
3 night min stay

Additional information about rental rates


Owner's cancellation policy:

100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date.

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Last updated: 03/22/2017
Check availability
23 Available
21 Unavailable
22 Today
23 Selected dates


3.5 Miles
Nearest Ferry
1 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
5 Miles
Nearest Beach

Car: Necessary


Owner info

Year Purchased: 1978

About the owner: 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.

Why the Owner Chose Spring Grove, VA, USA:
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.

The Unique Benefits at this House:
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
Response time: Within an hour
Response Rate: 100%
Calendar last updated: 03/22/2017

Send email

Guestbook comments from the owner

1 of 240


  • Lightwood House

    Lightwood House

  • Hall


  • Living Room, Circa 1795

    Living Room, Circa 1795

  • Blue Bedroom

    Blue Bedroom

  • View From Hall Into Dining Room

    View From Hall Into Dining Room

  • View of Lightwood Lane from front garden

    View of Lightwood Lane from front garden

  • Autumn in Lightwood Forest

    Autumn in Lightwood Forest

  • Back View of House and Outbuildings

    Back View of House and Outbuildings

  • Old Grandfather Jacob, 1836

    Old Grandfather Jacob, 1836

  • Winter Scene

    Winter Scene

  • Really old Great Grandfather William, 1705

    Really old Great Grandfather William, 1705

  • Christmas by the fire

    Christmas by the fire

  • Welcome To Lightwood

    Welcome To Lightwood

  • Dining Room, Circa 1760

    Dining Room, Circa 1760

  • Living Room, Circa 1795

    Living Room, Circa 1795

  • Yellow Bedroom

    Yellow Bedroom

  • Kitchen


  • Back Garden

    Back Garden

  • Meadow Along Nature Trail

    Meadow Along Nature Trail

  • Outbuilding in Fall

    Outbuilding in Fall

  • Lightwood in Winter

    Lightwood in Winter

  • Deck The Hall

    Deck The Hall

  • Back Patio

    Back Patio

  • Private Entrance

    Private Entrance

VRBO #44012

This listing was first published here in 2004.

Date last modified - Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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