Street Address
501 Shirley Plantation Road
Charles City, VA 23030
Mailing Address
501 Shirley Plantation Road
Charles City, VA 23030
Hours
Daily9:30 AM - 4 PM
Closed Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
Admissions
Adults: $12.50
Youth: $8.50
Services
Gift Shop
Group Tours
Staff
Lauren Carter, General Manager
phone: 804-829-5121
Julian Charity, Visitor Services Manager/Historian
phone: 804-829-5121
Alice Walton, Gift Shop Manager
phone: 804-829-5121
Melissa Bjorkman, Assistant Gift Shop Manager
phone: 804-829-5121

Description

On a bluff overlooking the James River, Shirley Plantation offers stunning views and a history like no other attraction in America. Encompassing over 700 riverfront acres, Shirley Plantation is America’s oldest farm and family-owned business and is lived in and actively managed by direct descendants of the original builders. Considered an architectural treasure due to its “flying staircase”, authentic structures and hand-carved woodwork, Shirley Plantation has welcomed visitors for hundreds of years.

Tours of this National Historic Landmark are complimented by the Shirley Gift Shop with many one-of-a-kind items relating to the plantation. Shirley Plantation is located along scenic Route 5, 30 minutes from Richmond and 35 Minutes from Williamsburg. It is an idyllic setting for a picnic, a walk, or a detour from the Capital Bike Trail. The plantation is also available for weddings, special occasions and portrait photography.

Mission

Shirley Plantation Foundation

Join the Shirley Plantation Foundation to help preserve, protect and pass on America’s oldest family-owned business so that future generations of Americans can enjoy this remarkable historic treasure. In the words of Randy Carter, one of the founding board members of the Shirley Plantation Foundation, “our donors and members provide vital support empowering our capability to educate the visiting public and preserve Shirley Plantation. My father, the late C. Hill Carter, opened his home to visitors in 1962 with the intention of having the property always open and available to the public. This foundation is crucial to keeping Shirley open for future generations of visitors .”

The Shirley Plantation Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation dedicated to sharing the relevance of Shirley’s heritage through education, advocacy, and community involvement. The Shirley Plantation Foundation receives no regular local, state or federal support and sustains itself with membership and admissions revenue. Donation and membership revenues fund new exhibits and educational programs.

History

Eleven Generations of family history

Shirley Plantation is Virginia’s first plantation, founded in 1613, after a royal land grant carved the plantation out of the Virginia frontier. Shirley Plantation is the oldest family-owned business in North America dating to 1638 when Edward Hill I established a farm on the banks of the James River. Construction of the present mansion began circa 1723 when Elizabeth Hill married John Carter, eldest son of Robert “King” Carter. Completed in 1738, “Great House,” is largely in its original state and is owned, operated, and resided in by direct descendants of Edward Hill I.

The guided tour of the Great House highlights original family furnishings, portraits, silver, and hand-carved woodwork as well as stories of the Hill Carter family, eyewitnesses to eleven generations of American history.

One architectural historian contends,” Shirley Plantation is the most intact 18th century estate in Virginia”. Several features such as the “Flying Staircase” and the Queen Anne Forecourt are the only remaining examples in North America of this architectural style. Included on the self-guided grounds tour are formal gardens and eight original colonial outbuildings.

Today, Shirley continues as a working plantation, a private family home, a National Historic Landmark, and a Virginia Landmark. Shirley Plantation is a privately owned estate in which the revenue from admissions fees support preservation of this unique part of America’s heritage.

Governance

Governance=Non-Profit 501(c)(3)

ADA

Parking

Restrooms

Services

Weddings

We are thrilled that you are considering Shirley Plantation for your special day. Shirley’s house, buildings, gardens and lawns are the perfect location for weddings and wedding receptions. Sites include the North, South and Manor House lawns overlooking the James River as well as the Boxwood Gardens, Grape Arbor, Storehouse and Garden Terrace tent.

Special Occasions

We are thrilled to have you consider Shirley Plantation for your special event. Shirley’s house, buildings, gardens and lawns are the perfect location for receptions, corporate events, holiday parties, reunions, fundraisers, and BBQs. Sites include: the North, South and Manor House lawns overlooking the James River as well as the Boxwood Gardens, Grape Arbor, Storehouse and Garden Terrace ten

Gift Shop

Group Tours