Bacon's Castle

Posted to: Historic Sites Virginia

Quick Facts

Open for general visitation early March through late November;  Fridays-Sundays and some special event dates. Available year-round for private group tours. 

Hours: Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ; Sundays 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Adults: $12; Children (6-17): $6; Students with ID and active military, dependents, groups of  10 or more people: $5 each; Children under 5: Free.

Museum store available on site. The site is available for special event rental and weddings.

Preservation Virginia’s Bacon’s Castle in Surry County, Virginia is North America’s only surviving example of Jacobean architecture and its 17thcentury English formal garden is the oldest of its kind in North America.  The Arthur Allen Brick House (by 1800 commonly-known as “Bacon’s Castle”) was built in 1665 by successful tobacco planter and merchant Arthur Allen.  Originally from Droitwich, England, Allen brought his passion for Flemish architecture to Virginia when planning and building his 5,100 square foot brick house.  His son, Major Arthur Allen II, built the adjacent English formal garden in the early 1670s.  In the last quarter of 1676, a detachment of seventy provincial rebels led by Nathaniel Bacon, during a rebellion of the same name, captured and occupied the House from its owner, Major Allen, who was allied with Sir William Berkeley and his government at Jamestown.  

During the rebel occupation, the rebels drank Allen’s wine, ate his livestock, and enjoyed and destroyed his fine pottery.  After the failed Rebellion, three major families and several renovations over the next nearly 300 years illustrates how the Site adapted to and accommodated the fashion and function needs of its contemporary owners.  In 1854 the second of two annexes was built.  It survives today as an example of Greek Revival architecture. 

The 40-acre site also has several dependencies including an 1829/1849 Slave Quarters (one of originally 19 such buildings), a 1701 Barn/Smokehouse – the oldest of its kind in Tidewater Virginia, a 1850s Smokehouse, and several 19th and 20th-century barns and sheds. Guests may enjoy lawn picnicking and picnic tables that seat up to 72 guests.

Visit the nearly 350-year old Site and explore the ancient landscape and architecture and inspect how the House and dependencies remain a testament to long-lasting construction techniques and historic preservation practices. 

Bacon's Castle
465 Bacon's Castle Trail
Surry VA 23883
757-357-5976 or email tballance@preservationvirginia.org
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