Ampthill Plantation is the only privately owned Jeffersonian property that welcomes overnight guests. It is the former home of Randolph Harrison, who in 1815 decided to expand his plantation house and asked his cousin Thomas Jefferson to draw up plans for him. After Jefferson visited, he sent the plans with a note saying, "You seem to require six rooms, neither more nor less, and a good entrance or passage of communication." Three of the fireplace mantles are said to have come out of the White House when President Harrison, a cousin of Randolph, shipped them here when he remodeled the White House!
The current owners, George Costen and his wife Carol Eltzroth, have worked diligently to restore the house and property to its former glory. They have filled the house with beautiful antiques that they have collected over the years from all around the world. Many of these pieces should be in a museum, in fact some of the pieces are older than what many museum have. The covered deer platter in the dining room is solid silver, very heavy, and dated back to 1410! They have so many sets of antique china, silver, and glassware that you could stay for five days and never be served on the same set! All the beds, furnishings, and knick knacks are antique. Unlike museums and most other plantations you tour, George and Carol believe these pieces are to be enjoyed and you may touch and explore all you wish. Check out the outbuildings like the kitchen and the ice house. The ice house is one of the largest you will ever see. It is about 50 feet deep.
Located between Charlottesville and Richmond, you will want to be sure to call and arrange a tour of this majestic property.
The plantation was nice. There was an ice house that was huge. You could store lots of food and ice in there. There were some beautiful gardens there. They were small, but nice. I liked the landscape. The house was designed by Thomas Jefferson. One of the trees on the plantation would be easy to climb. The branches started only a foot or so off the ground. You could climb really high.
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