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“Disappointed in Hours”
Review of Bacon's Castle

Bacon's Castle
Ranked #2 of 9 things to do in Surry
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Castle provides Guided Tours, Gift Shopping, & Tourist Information on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays between 10 a.M. And 5 p.M. And Sundays between 12 and 5 p.M. Grounds are open 365 days a year between dawn and dusk. Built in 1665, Bacon's Castle, originally known as the Arthur Allen Brick House, is British North America's oldest brick structure, North America's only surviving example of Jacobean Architecture, and has North America's oldest, preserved 17th-century English Formal Garden. Since 1973, Preservation Virginia restores, preserves, and presents the 40-acre historic site as a museum. The Site has a gift shop, restrooms, tourist information desk, guided house tours, Oldest Tidewater Virginia Barn (early-18th-century), 1850s Smokehouse, 1829/1849 Slave Quarters, and self-guided grounds and garden tours. Preservation Virginia's Bacon's Castle is proud to announce it is a Virginia Green certified Attraction and encourages others to participate in responsible practices. The grounds are accessible 364 days of the year between dawn and dusk.
Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

Came to the Williamsburg area specifically to incorporate a visit here into our visit. Did the usual research -- Facebook, Trip Advisor, freebie tourist books. Saw no mention of unusual hours (very limited). Wound up in Surry finding a sign that indicated they were closed. Grounds seemed open, so we attempted to take the cell phone exterior tour--line busy on each call. Pretty disheartening. Appreciate the work of the APVA and completely understand funds may not be available to keep the site open all the time...I just think the hours should be mentioned in ads if they are that restricted. Tried to call in for advice; contact goes by email. No idea when we can come back. We are in the area frequently but rarely have a day we can devote to Surry. Beautiful site.

Thank regiontravelreturns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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in 52 reviews
"our tour guide"
in 29 reviews
"great tour"
in 22 reviews
"brick house"
in 16 reviews
"slave quarters"
in 15 reviews
"preservation virginia"
in 14 reviews
"united states"
in 12 reviews
"interesting history"
in 10 reviews
"western hemisphere"
in 6 reviews
"off the beaten path"
in 9 reviews
"well worth the trip"
in 10 reviews
"large group"
in 5 reviews
"architectural features"
in 4 reviews
"cell phone"
in 5 reviews
"wealthy merchant"
in 3 reviews
"historic sites"
in 4 reviews
"james river"
in 17 reviews

12 - 16 of 302 reviews

Reviewed 31 March 2018 via mobile

My family has spent the week in Colonial Williamsburg, and we have done all of the historical tours from the colonial triangle that is made up of Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg. We wanted to try something a little off the beaten path yet not too far away. Bacon’s Castle was the perfect find. I think the most noteworthy is that it is an original structure, and the oldest brick house in the country. From Bacon’s Rebellion to a working cotton plantation, it has withstood time for a reason, so take the trip! A real treat was to see the children’s writing on the walls of the nursery - Original, and found underneath years of wallpaper! Our tour guide was Ryan and he was super. If you get him, you will be in good hands.

Thank Heather R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 22 January 2018

This place is very pretty and the gardens are lovely. I definitely recommend a visit here to get away from the crowds at Williamsburg.

Thank amalphiea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 18 January 2018 via mobile

Wealthy merchant and planter Arthur Allen built a Jacobean style home in 1665. The architecture and story of an early rebellion by frontier fighters highlighted my two visits to Surry County to tour the castle. Known as the oldest surviving brick home in North America it is only one of three surviving Jacobean "Great Houses" West of the Atlantic. Saying Allen's home is rare is an understatement. The volunteers that have conducted my tours have been knowledgeable about the home and family.

Bacon's Castle has nothing to do with a meat, or even a resident that ever resided at the 17th Century estate. The name is derived from Nathaniel Bacon whose followers led a revolt and fortified the house and vast property in 1676. Bacon's group held the home for a reported three months as a fort before the band of fighters were squashed by the Royal Governor, Sir William Berkeley. Although possible Bacon was at the home during this period there is no evidence he ever resided there. The uprising at the property was known as Bacon's Rebellion and its present day name was first applied in the Virginia Gazette in the Capital City of Williamsburg 1769.

The 19th Century history of the house brought a two story Greek Revival wing, a change in the entry way from the center block and Diamond Pane casement windows replaced for double hung. The changes were left intact in its present day. Visitors can view the scars left from the original pedimented surround of the entry.

Preservation Virginia was able to acquire the unique holding and surrounding property in 1974. It took nine years to rehabilitate and complete research of the residence and families who lived in it. Guided tours began in 1983 and continue to run March - December. A cellphone tour is also available when the property is closed. A museum store is on site in the newer wing of the home.

Last I toured the formal gardens they were rough. Significant work has been done by the Garden Club of Virginia to restore their 17th Century beauty. During that last visit my son and I assisted with a dig that would have been outside the 18th Century kitchen. A few pottery items were recovered that day.

Bacon’s Castle offers something for everyone in the family. The architecture of the home, family story of Arthur Allen and the siege on the house by Bacon’s rebels make this a must tour. I recommend warmer climate days in order to take in the outbuilding slave quarters. The gardens would be best viewed in Spring and Summer.

Thank J David H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 1 January 2018

The tour is about 45 minutes and could be less than 30. This home is well preserved for it's age although any home this old is bound to have a lot of help to still stand. Not many of the furnishings are original but it is worth seeing. If nothing else to have bragging rights that you have been in the oldest brick home. I would say if you can plan your trip to bring you in from the West you can save the cost of the ferry trip and more so the time of waiting on the ferry's schedule.

Thank SDeuker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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