Set on a remote tract of land along the James River in Surry County, Virginia, is an extraordinary gem of colonial architecture ~ Bacon's Castle. A rare survivor. Built in 1665 by a wealthy landowner, Arthur Allen, it is the only extant brick Jacobean house in the United States. Featuring unique brickwork, three-part chimneys, and curvilinear gables, the exterior of the original house has changed little in almost 350 years. The most notable modifications include the replacement of the leaded glass windows and the relocation of the main entrance to a 19th-century addition. The first wooden addition was built around 1815, replaced in 1854 by the current brick version.
The name Bacon's Castle is one that emerged in the 19th century, in reference to the role the house played in the 1676 uprising lead by Nathaniel Bacon, known as Bacon's Rebellion. For many years, the house had been referred to simply as "Allen's Brick House" ~ likely a nod to its contemporary significance as a brick dwelling.
While the house has survived, its original furnishings have not ~ with the exception of a baby's cradle that has remarkably never left the house. The interior is now furnished with period pieces, based on Allen inventories from 1711 and 1755. The house retains the original hand-hewn beams, and some beautiful Georgian paneling installed in the early 18th century by Elizabeth Bray, the widow of Arthur Allen III.
For the garden enthusiasts, it should be noted that Allen's garden has been partially reconstructed based on archaeological investigations.
(more photos here)