On April 23rd, I took the train from Alexandria, Virginia, to Richmond to visit Agecroft Hall. (Taxi from Staple Mills train station was about $20.00) Agecroft Hall is a Tudor mansion (yes, a Tudor mansion) on the James River in Richmond, Virginia. The original house was built in Lancashire, England, and was the home of the Langley family.
It is somewhat appropriate that the house is on a river named for King James I. The last occupant left the house in 1904, and it remained unoccupied until the mid-1920s. The house was deteriorating, and the owners could not find anyone in England (even in Parliament) to save such a historic home. The house was put up or auction, and a very wealthy Richmond businessman T.C. Williams, Jr., purchased the house. He had it dismantled and shipped to Richmond, where he had it rebuilt on property he owned. It took two years to bring the house back to life.
The house, which sits on 23 acres, is a part of the "fashionable Windsor Farms Housing development. The land was once the Williams' family farm. In Mr. Williams' will, he stipulated that following the death of his widow the house would become a museum. Williams died in 1929, and his wife, Elizabeth, remained in the home until the 1960s. She and her second husband spent many years acquiring original period pieces that are now on display in the house.
Here is my favorite: the portrait of the Countess of Lincoln.
This house is older than the United States. Older than the colonial period. Visiting Agecroft Hall is a step back in time to another country. It is being in England ... without having to take a plane. My tour guide, Hester, was awesome and knowledgeable. Thanks, too, to the kind retired teacher who drove me to Carytown, saving me a 25 minute walk, where I had a nice meal and beer at Home, Sweet Home, before calling a cab back to the train station.
http://hshrva.com/ I had a fontina and bacon sandwich on toasted wheat bread. Yummy.
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