Visiting Agecroft Hall and Gardens
Agecroft Hall and Gardens is a hidden gem of the Richmond metropolitan area. Located just minutes from downtown, this National Historic Landmark has been home to some of the most prominent families in Virginia for centuries. It's also where you'll find one of the oldest rose gardens in America.
History of the gardens
The original house was built by Thomas C. Williams in the 15th century Virginia Vernacular style, after returning from his service as a Captain of 20 men with John Smith on an expedition to explore the New World for gold and silver. He named it “Agecroft” because that is where he first landed upon returning home. The house was passed down to his descendants who lived there for centuries, including the prominent Thomas C. Williams II, and is now home to Agecroft Hall Foundation.
The house itself has changed little since its construction in 1541 although it is incomplete due to budget restrictions during The Civil War when Union forces used bricks from the walls of the manor as ballast for their ironclads. The land around the house was used for farming, including a garden that still exists today.
The most notable period in Agecroft Hall's history is when Thomas C Williams II lived there between 1797 and 1848 with his family of three generations. He had twelve children, six boys who fought in the War of 1812 and seven girls that remained at home. He was a prominent businessman, farmer, and politician who held various positions of authority within the county including sheriff for more than one term as well as a justice of the peace.
He died in 1848 but his descendants lived on until 1910 when Agecroft Hall Foundation acquired it from William Burdette Smith Williams II. It is now an educational and cultural center that is home to many interesting artifacts from the original inhabitants as well as a library, archives, and museum.
Today, Agecroft Hall and Gardens is a historical site that offers guided tours of the house on weekends from April until August with special events throughout the year including Victorian Christmas celebrations in December and an annual Rose Festival held every June. In addition to historic houses, there are acres of beautiful gardens full of flowers and butterflies as well as a duck pond and walking trails.
The Agecroft Hall & Gardens is open 11:30 am to 4:30 pm For more information including admission prices, please visit their website at: http://www.agecrofthall.com/