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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

1760s Colonial Estate, 100 Acres Of Ancient Woodland, Two Miles Of Hiking Trails

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


About the property

Plantation Estate, 5 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, (Sleeps up to 10) 100 Acres, Secluded

Williamsburg Area; Surry, Virginia. Williamsburg area's Number One, Five-Star Guest-Rated vacation rental on VRBO/HomeAway, For history and nature lovers.

Step back in time, but with all modern conveniences.

The drive from the house is 10 miles to Williamsburg and 4 miles to Jamestown, including a beautiful, free 18-minute car ferry ride past Jamestown Island.


LIGHTWOOD HOUSE is an elegant eighteenth-century plantation home nestled in a magnificent old-growth beech forest in rural Surry County, near Williamsburg, and is one of America's most beautiful and unique historic vacation rentals. The estate comprises over 100 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.

Children love Lightwood House with its many nooks and crannies to explore. While the house has many fine antiques, the furniture is sturdy 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.

Lightwood is also home to four long case "Grandfather" clocks, two of which are over 300 years old. The bells are silenced when guests are there, and the clocks can easily be stopped if their 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 are two large bedrooms, each with a queen-sized canopy bed; one double bed in a small room; and two single beds in an attic room adjoining one of the queen bedrooms. In order to get to the upstairs bathroom, one needs to go through the queen bedroom from the attic room. These two bedrooms can serve as a family suite. Downstairs there is a small bedroom with a double bed. The bed is against the wall, so it can be difficult for the "outside" person to get out over the "inside" person in the middle of the night. There are two large bathrooms, one upstairs and one downstairs. The upstairs bath has a tub/shower arrangement, and the downstairs bathroom has a six-foot jetted tub and a separate walk-in shower. Stairs throughout the house are steep. Each bedroom has a chest of drawers; the Blue bedroom has a large wardrobe; and a small closet is located just outside the Attic bedroom.

The rest of the house is large enough to spread out in, with a large entrance hall, spacious dining room and comfortable living room. The front and back yards are fenced in. More than 100 acres of forest, meadows and streams are available to explore from over two miles of hiking trails.,

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.


Friday noon to Sunday noon, 150-guest maximum, with overnight stays for up to ten; packages start at $2,450.00 (off-peak season) to $2,950.00 (peak season.) Includes wedding ceremony area and space for up to a 40 x 80 tent. For small weddings of 25 or under, the package rate starts at $1,885.00


The historic museums of Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, and the American Revolutionary Museum at Yorktown are only a short drive and free 24-hour, 18-minute car ferry ride away. All four of these national and international 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. Additionally, many important historic Civil War sites are within an hour's drive of Lightwood in the Richmond/Petersburg area.

Pristine riverfront beaches can be found in Surry at Chippokes Plantation State Park, at Jamestown on the James River, and at Yorktown on the York River. Virginia Beach 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 beautiful and unspoiled Chickahominy River State 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 meanders 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, child friendly, pet friendly, historic, elegant, unique, woodland.

More Details

Cliff and Joy Williams
Member since: 2004
Premier Partner

This VRBO partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.

Speaks: english
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
September 17, 2018

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 Spring Grove

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 has been Joy's influence that has 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. Only a few places exist 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, Busch Gardens, and Yorktown from the comfort and luxury of their own eighteenth-century plantation.

Guestbook comments from the owner

Our wedding was absolutely amazing! There was even talk amongst the attendees that it was the best wedding EVER! Lightwood House will forever be a magical, special place for us.
Sep 2018
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Spring Grove House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2400 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:30 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 10
  • Min. age of primary renter: 25 ...
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed ...
  • Pets considered ...
  • 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. Towels and wash cloths are provided.
  • 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): 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.
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Music Library ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television
  • Toys ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Golf ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • 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, satellite TV, Central Air and Heat, DVD player and DVDs, CD player and CDs, Coffee Maker, Coffee Grinder, Electric Water Kettle, Large Crockpot, Blender, Mixer/Beater, Comforters, two Canopy Beds (Queen Sized), Two Double Beds, Two Twin Beds, Booster Seat, Children's Playground (Outside Toys, Swings, Slide, and Play Tower,) Children's Indoor Toy Closet, Children's Books.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(101 traveler reviews)

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1760s Colonial Estate, 100 Acres Of Ancient Woodland, Two Miles Of Hiking Trails
average rating of 5.0 based on 384 reviews

Unforgettable Lightwood!

  • 5 of 5

We recently spent a vacation at Lightwood with three generations of our family. As a history buff, I knew I would I would love it, but I wasn’t sure how it would work out with the grandkids ages 8, 7, 6, 4 and 1 year. Lightwood turned out to be perfect for them. The children loved the fairy story, and we spent hours walking in our own personal forest discovering turtles, trees, deer, and butterflies. On our last day, we hiked out to the fairy tree to hang our wishes. We roasted marshmallows in the fire pit and discovered night frogs that sounded like sheep! The house itself is a treasure! You feel like you are living in the past, but with all the modern conveniences. We all agreed that one of the highlights of our stay was being able to all eat together at the massive dining room table.

It was so nice to be away from the busy tourist area, yet have easy access to Jamestown and it’s beautiful beach via the ferry. We picked blueberries and had amazing homemade ice cream at College Run Farms and also picked up fresh eggs nearby.

I cannot speak highly enough of Lightwood!

  • Submitted: Jul 31, 2018
  • Stayed: July 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for the nice review. Joy and I are so pleased that everyone enjoyed their stay- especially the children. Kids do seem to love the adventure of exploring Lightwood, with its nooks and crannies, and the magnificent forest. It is a special place. It was a pleasure having you as guests, and please let us know if we can be of help in the future.
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This has been the most relaxing memorable vacations we have ever had. Owner was great!

  • 5 of 5

This place is absolutely wonderful. We will definitely be going back. We went to see Jamestown and spend time with family. Spend all of our time at Lightwood making memories. We didn’t want to leave. So beautiful and peaceful. Great host, he met us and shared some history with us. Great great place to go.

  • Submitted: Aug 19, 2018
  • Stayed: August 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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great colonial home

  • 5 of 5

got an amazing sense of history staying in his remarkable home. convenient to areas in the historical triangle

  • Submitted: Aug 16, 2018
  • Stayed: August 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for the nice review. It was a pleasure having you as guests, and we are pleased that you enjoyed yourselves at Lightwood. And, thank you for leaving the house in such tidy shape- it is much appreciated! Please let me know if we can be of help in the future.
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Fantastic Escape

  • 5 of 5

This home is fantastic. We were here for 5 nights and loved every moment here. It’s very peaceful. Cliff was so nice and anything we needed all we had to do was ask. It’s clear he loves this property and it’s obvious in the small touches like the fresh flowers in the vases all throughout the home. I would come back and stay here again in a heartbeat. If you are able to do not miss out on this gem!

  • Submitted: Aug 16, 2018
  • Stayed: August 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: It was great meeting you, and having you as our guests at Lightwood. It means a lot to us when guests appreciate the special and unique qualities that Lightwood has to offer. Also, thank you for leaving the house in such great and clean shape! There are few places in this country quite like Lightwood. For lovers of history and nature it is an unusual combination of both. Please let me know if we can be of help in the future.
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Best Place Ever!

  • 5 of 5

Absolutely loved this place. It was like taking a step back in time and definitely the best place I have ever stayed in my 70 years of life! First of all, Cliff and Joy have made this a home away from home where all you had to bring were your clothes, a toothbrush and toiletries. The home is decorated with so many interesting pieces of history from photos to books to numerous antiques. The setting is just so serene and peaceful too and loved all the sounds of nature emanating from the beautiful grounds. And the grandchildren loved exploring all the nooks and crannies in the home. We cannot wait to return to this place! Thanks, Cliff and Joy for giving us this piece of history.

The Shepherd, McCrary and Pens families

  • Submitted: Aug 5, 2018
  • Stayed: July 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Charming and tranquil location

  • 5 of 5

Nicely located to see Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown etc. And also to just enjoy the space.

  • Submitted: Jul 26, 2018
  • Stayed: July 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Nearest Beach
5 Miles
Chippoke State Park in Surry
Car: necessary


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

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.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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