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The House and Grounds
LIGHTWOOD HOUSE is an elegant eighteenth-century home nestled in a magnificent old-growth beech forest in rural Surry County, near Williamsburg, and is one of America's most beautiful and unique historic vacation rental and wedding venue sites. The estate comprises over 100 acres of woods, meadows, and streams, and is part of the land given by Chief Powhatan to Pocahontas and John Rolfe as a wedding gift. Lightwood House was the center of a prosperous tobacco estate and the home of a Revolutionary War soldier and his family. Built in four different periods circa 1760 to 1795, Lightwood House is completely restored and features exceptional detailed woodwork and authentic furnishings, yet also offers all modern conveniences, including a jetted tub, satellite TV, and WIFI.
Children love Lightwood House with its many nooks and crannies to explore. While the house has many fine antiques, the furniture is sturdy and we have never had a problem with damage by enthusiastic little ones. So please don't worry about turning kids loose in the house, as long as obvious and normal precautions are taken.
Lightwood House is also home to four long case "Grandfather" clocks, two of which are over 300 years old. The bells are silenced when guests are there, and the clocks can easily be stopped if their ticking bothers anyone. Other antique furnishings and art in the house date from the early 19th century to as far back as the 1580s.
While the surroundings are completely rural and secluded, the house is only one-and-a-half miles from the town of Surry, where basic essentials are available, and three-and-a-half miles to the 24-hour, 18-minute, free car ferry ride to Jamestown and Williamsburg. From the ferry dock on the other side of the James River, Jamestown is one-half mile, and Colonial Williamsburg six miles away.
The Lightwood Forest estate comprises over a hundred acres of forest, meadows and streams, which can be enjoyed from over two miles of private hiking trails. The forest is ancient and includes giant beeches and oaks as well as majestic poplars and pines. Wildlife abounds in Lightwood Forest, so watch for deer, wild turkey, foxes, turtles, woodpeckers, hawks, and even an occasional bald eagle. Flocks of blackbirds arrive in fall in such numbers that they darken the sky, and at night be sure to listen carefully for the sound of owls calling to each other, as gentle breezes rustle the leaves.
Both front and back yards are enclosed by white picket fences for the safety and benefit of up to two canine guests, who are more than welcome at Lightwood.
"We felt like we were in a story book forest, it's that beautiful."
"We were enchanted by the lazy stream and the wonderful trails through the towering beech forest."
"What a dream of a place--storybook perfection for kids and parents alike."
"The house was like stepping back into a simpler time. We felt caressed by the history, inspired by the beauty, and grateful for the personal touches throughout."
"Thank you for your warm hospitality and especially for your vision when you lovingly created this
unique space in the world."
All music on this video, including Bonny at Morn, Hole in the Wall, and Praetorius Dance is performed by The Virginia Company, featuring Cliff Williams, Barry Trott, David Gardner, and Dean Shostak.
"The home is magnificent--too special for words."
Lightwood House in the 1930s
Lightwood House Today
Lightwood House and Hexfoils--
Symbols from an ancient Past
The symbol above is known as a hexfoil, sometimes referred to as a daisy wheel, and harkens back to ancient Britain. These symbols have been found at Roman sites, in Saxon churches, on medieval baptismal fonts, barns, houses and other structures.
Often inscribed near places where air (or evil spirits) could enter a building, such as a fireplace, door or window, hexfoils served as a deterrent to spirits that might seek to enter a home or church, and as a protectant for those within. Combining Christianity with long-held ancient pagan beliefs, hexfoils were used in buildings well into the eighteenth century in America and other British colonies, long after the practice had died out in Britain.
Three of these ancient symbols have been uncovered at Lightwood--one on a door leading to a staircase, another hidden behind a door frame moulding, and one on a board near a fireplace.
One of the Lightwood hexfoils found on a board near a fireplace.
An English Medieval hexfoil carved in stone and identical in design to those at Lightwood.
I'm a Lightwood Hexfoil.
To learn more about this fascinating subject, follow the link below.