This is the one that took my love for history and for historical homes to the next level.
Agecroft Hall in Richmond is a home that is over 500 years old. It was originally built in Lancashire, England, and was inhabited and added on to by the Langley / Dauntesey family for generations. In the first half of the twentieth century, however, the family had died out and the manor house had fallen into a state of disrepair, and the house was eventually put up for auction in 1925.
A man from Richmond, Thomas C Williams Jr, bought the house for a steal and decided to have it dismantled, shipped to Richmond, and rebuilt in a new neighbourhood he was in the process of planning. Agecroft was to be the jewel in the new subdivision to be called Windsor Farms.
Although Williams died not long after Agecroft was finally rebuilt, his widow lived on in the house for a number of years. As she was nearing the end of her life, she decided the house should be converted back to what it would have looked like in Elizabethan England and opened up as a museum for visitors to learn about its rich history and heritage. And after she died, that's exactly what happened.
Today visitors enjoy a film detailing the history of the home from its days as a manor house for the Langley and Dauntesey family to its current role as a historical marker in Richmond. From there, guests are welcome to take part in a tour around the house, where a guide will walk you through what life would have been like for family members and visitors nearly 500 years ago. While most of the furnishings are replicas, there are also a good number of original artifacts on display.
All told the video + tour took about an hour, and on the day I visited there were only 2 other people on my tour, so we were able to strike up a good rapport with our sweet tour guide and ask any questions we had on our minds. Once the tour wraps up, visitors are allowed to walk throughout the gardens and estate to take pictures and generally enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
I know I'm a nerd about these things, but I really thought Agecroft was super cool. To be able to tour a house that is over 500 years old and imagine what it must have been like to live in that home all those years ago in England was really cool, and I think it's a really neat artifact to have. To think about how many similar homes have been torn down kind of makes me sad, and I'm pretty thankful that Mr Williams and his wife had the foresight to maintain the home and then open it up for people like me. Definitely go see it if you are in the Richmond area.
|[just one of the beautiful gardens at agecroft hall]|
|[surveying the kingdom]|
|[the back of the house, almost exactly as it looked in elizabethan england]|
|[footpath down to the next garden]|
|[the outer courtyard of the house]|
|[the back patio]|
|[during the summer the hall hosts festivals, hence the fancy curtain]|
- address: 4305 Sulgrave Road, Richmond, VA 23221
- museum and gardens are open year-round; Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4pm; Sunday 12.30-5pm; closed Monday and national holidays
- the video and the tour take about an hour, depending on the size of your tour group and how many questions you ask of your guide
- admission is $8; $7 for senior citizens; $5 for students
- no photography allowed inside the house, but feel free to take as many pictures of the gardens and grounds
- on your way there, you'll end up driving through a posh residential neighbourhood. you will think you're going the wrong way, but never fear, you are on the right track. trust your google maps
|[architecture from three different centuries, all in one fantastic house]|
My favourite part? Learning about how you can tell when rooms or wings were added on to the house based on the exterior designs of those walls, as evidenced in the photo above.