Drayton Hall is a plantation built in the early 17th century located between Rt. 61 and the Ashley River in the West of the Ashley section of Charleston. It is one of the few plantations that Sherman spared on his march to the Atlantic Ocean. The house and the lands have not been restored, but have been preserved in the condition they were in when it was purchased in 1974 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
My wife and I recently visited Drayton Hall and enjoyed the self guided walking tours.
The river walk tour encompasses the area from the house to the river. At a leisurely pace you can walk it in a half an hour. Very little remains of the original plantation gardens and agricultural areas, but it is easy to visualize the corridor from the back of the house to the old boat landing on the Ashley River that dissects the agricultural areas. I’m sure that for over 200 years this site bustled with activity resulting from the harvesting and shipping of crops.
The marsh walking tour can be completed in about 20 minutes. On this tour you cross most of the ecosystems associated with saltwater, brackish water and freshwater wetlands. This is a very peaceful area. Once you are past the brackish wetland you enter an area where phosphate was mined after the Civil War. The old pits and sections of the narrow gauge railroad track are still visible. Upon reaching the freshwater wetlands you can see the remains of old rice fields and the system of ditches and dikes to regulate water flow into the rice fields. From there you enter lawn area about a quarter of a mile in front of the house. I feel confident during the plantation era this area would have had many outbuildings, farming implements, livestock and bustling with activity.
As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions. To look for homes in West Ashley, or anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/
"Carolina Joe" Idleman