Situated in King William County, Virginia, Chelsea Plantation is one of the finest examples of early 18th Century Georgian architecture. The grounds of Chelsea encompass nearly five acres of lawn with extensive English Boxwood gardens, overlooking the Mattaponi River.
Augustine Moore, the builder of Chelsea Plantation, was a highly successful tobacco entrepreneur in the Tidewater area of Virginia and well connected both socially and politically.
The elegant manor house served as a staging ground for General LaFayette's groups during the Revolutionary War. In 1764, Thomas Jefferson himself attended a wedding on the grounds of Chelsea Plantation. King William is also home to many historic homes and estates spanning the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, including Elsing Green, Horn Quarter, Mount Columbia, and Burlington.
Built in 1709 by Col. Augustine Moore, Chelsea Plantation is the 2nd oldest Virginia Plantation still open for tours. The land grant is not as old as some, but the manor house existed during the reign of Queen Anne. It is on the National Historical Registry.
Here is a few important keynotes about Chelsea :
- During the Revolutionary War, General Lafayette encamped here during the campaign of 1781, just before the battle of Yorktown where he defeated Cornwalis. There is a historical marker at the corner of Rte 30 and Rte 635 signifying this.
- Robert E. Lee's grandmother was both born here and married here.
- Thomas Jefferson attended a wedding here of his best friend Dr. John Walker.
- Very 1st speaker of the House of Burgesses, Speaker John Robinson married a Moore of Chelsea.
- The parson at St John's Church (open for tours) was also the schoolmaster at Chelsea schoolhouse, which is still standing.
- The Knights of the Golden Horseshoe was formed here by Governor Alexander Spottswood.
- Col Augustine Moore's grandson Bernard II became one of the first 3 Admiralty Court Justices, which was the 1st judicial system in this country.
- George Washington stopped here on his Burgess Route on his way from Fredricksburg to Williamsburg .
- Capt John Smith passed by the site of Chelsea on his way to Chief Powhatan at Werewocomoco when he was taken captive.
Tours open Thursday through Sunday 10am to 4:30pm and Monday through Wednesday by appointment only. Group tours are welcome but need advance notice. Phone: (804) 843-2386.
Admission: Adults - $12.50; Children under 6 yrs. - $5. Advance calls are recommended.
Last Revision - 01 June 2010 - jat
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Chelsea Plantation - King William County, Virginia