This famous exemplar of colonial Virginia’s plantation architecture was built 1750-55 for Carter Burwell, grandson of Robert (“King”) Carter. David Minitree, a bricklayer and James Wheatley, a house carpenter, were the principal builders of Carter’s Grove, located on the banks of the James River in James City County, south of the city of Williamsburg. The interior woodwork, considered some of the most handsome of the colonial period, was executed in part by Richard Baylis, an English joiner. Carter’s Grove stood essentially unaltered until 1928 when its owners engaged architect W. Duncan Lee to restore and enlarge the house. The roof was heightened, dormers were added, and the dependencies were enlarged and connected to the main house. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation acquired the property in the 1960s. The extensive garden was reconstructed in the 1970s after detailed archaeological investigations. The excavations uncovered the site of Wolstenholme Town, an early-17th-century settlement as well as Burwell farm quarter, which was probably occupied by some twenty enslaved African Americans at the end of the colonial period. The Carter’s Grove property passed back into private hands early in the 21st century, and is under a protective easement with the DHR’s Virginia Board of Historic Resources.
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark