Have you traveled to Surry County lately? Maybe you were just at College Run Farms to pick out the perfect pumpkin?! Well, if you have, you might have passed Bacon’s Castle on the way, another gem on The Salty Southern Route! With these beautiful fall days we have been having this stop on the route is a must visit! It just so happens that I was just there in late Summer with my Mom and we had a really great time. The staff was full of knowledge and this historic building is full of interesting facts, tidbits and the secrets of all those who have lived there in years past. The grounds are great too! In season, they have a beautiful blooming garden and Bacon’s Castle and Preservation Virginia often host on site events! The next event on the books is “Castle Christmas,” December 8th from 10a.m. to 5p.m., where seasonal decoration and traditions can be enjoyed by all!
So, a bit about The Castle’s History! Built in 1665 by Arthur Allen, Bacon’s Castle is the oldest brick dwelling in North America! Cool, right?! Mr. Allen was a prosperous merchant and planter and it is noted that he built his house in an extremely rare example of High Jacobean architecture for the New World, with the crowning jewels being the triple stacked chimneys! Arthur Allen didn’t get to live in his new house long though, he passed in 1669 and left it to Arthur Allen II, his son. It was during this time that the dwelling got the infamous name Bacon’s Castle! History tells us that this naming came from Bacon’s Rebellion, apparently one of the most confusing yet intriguing chapters in Jamestown’s history. It has been considered that the Virginia Rebellion of 1676, the larger rebellion that Bacon’s Rebellion was part of, was to be the first stirring of the revolutionary sentiment in America, or possibly just a power struggle between two stubborn leaders. As Bacon’s Castle historians will tell you, the rebellion was due to tense relations between the local Indian tribes and the English Settlers. One side would attack the other and then the other side would retaliate. Nathaniel Bacon, a well to do of the area, blamed the local tribes for most of this and decided to go against the wishes of the Governor and, with a number of followers, took vengeance against the Indians. It was during all of this that 70 of Bacon’s men took control of Allen II’s Brick House for three months! So, years later, because of this historic event, the house was renamed “Bacon’s Castle.” However, a fun fact is that Nathaniel Bacon most likely never set foot in the building! The house was then passed through the family over the years. There is even a pretty cool story of a “black widow” who outlived several husbands!
The point is, you should definitely stop by this cool historic landmark! The experts at The Castle will fill you in on all of its history and when you are done there is a gift shop and time to wonder the grounds! You can also do a self guided tour.
Hours and Prices are as follows:
Friday and Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sunday 12pm – 5pm
Also, Memorial Day through Labor Day they have Monday Hours (10am – 5pm)
General Admission is $10
AAA, Seniors (60+), Military Discount $9
Children under 6 are Free
The Salty Southern Route
is a joint tourism effort of the towns of Franklin and Smithfield, Isle of Wight, Southampton, Surry and Sussex Counties, and the city of Suffolk, Virginia.