April 30, 2010

Historic Westover Plantation

There are places that just about take your breath away. Westover Plantation is one of those. I first visited it on a field trip and later took my husband to see it. The grounds are gardens are lovely. We returned for Historic Garden Week in order to see the inside of the house, which is normally closed to the public. It overlooks the James River in Charles City County, Virginia.

The center section of the manor house was built around 1730 for William Byrd II, an important person in Colonial Virginia, founder of Richmond, well-known diarist, and a member of the still-influential Byrd family.

The James River was the site of the first successful English settlements in America, and a number of large plantations grew along its banks. Westover is one of several that can still be seen. It's convenient to Williamsburg and Richmond and next door to Berkeley Plantation, which is the birthplace of President William Henry Harrison (1773) and in 1862 headquarters and supply center for the Union Army.

Memorial to William Byrd II

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