Middleton Place

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by chadk78 on April 30, 2005

Constructed in 1741, this is the home of the Middleton family, prominent rice planters. Henry Middleton was President of the First Continental Congress, and his son, Arthur, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Middleton Place is also the home of America's oldest landscaped gardens. They are modeled after the formal gardens of Europe from the 17th century. It took 100 slaves over 10 years to complete the gardens. The site features landscaped terraces leading down to the Ashley River, butterfly lakes, a rice mill, and pond, stableyard, and wide assortment of plants and trees, including azaleas, camellias, and live oaks. One live oak in particular is the Middleton Oak, which is over 1,000 years old. In the stableyard, living historians demonstrate various crafts, and domesticated animals such as sheep and chickens roam free.

African-American plantation life is also detailed at Eliza's House, a former slave cabin where some of the ex-slaves continued to live for many years after they were freed. The Middleton House was burned by Yankee soldiers in 1865; however, the south wing was spared. The family resided in this structure after the war, and it still stands today. Guided tours of the house are given daily. Inside, visitors will see silver, china, furniture, artwork, and various other momentos belonging to the Middletons. Among these is a silk copy of the Declaration of Independence which belonged to Arthur Middleton. Arthur is buried in the gardens, and his tomb is part of the self-guided garden tour. Middleton Place was also a filming site for The Patriot.

A restaurant located on the property serves traditional lowcountry dishes. It's a little pricey but very good. It takes about 2.5 hours to thoroughly take in the whole place. The grounds are open daily from 9am to 5pm. Adult admission to the gardens and stableyard is $20 for adults but only $5 for children (7-15). The house tour is an additional $10. You can get a good value by purchasing a combination ticket, which includes both Middleton Place and the Edmonston-Alston House (located downtown on the Battery). For more information, visit www.middletonplace.org.

Middleton Place
4300 Ashley River Road
Charleston, South Carolina, 29414
(843) 556-6020


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