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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Allen's Brick House

Around the last of June we took a little day trip to a 17th century plantation home that has been restored beautifully.   Surry County Va. where the oldest brick home in the U.S is located.   Built in 1665 by Arthur Allen and known as "Allen's Brick House" with Jacobean architecture.  It was occupied a little while in 1676 as there was a planters revolt, by Nathaniel  Bacon's  rebels, thus the name - Bacons Fort or "Castle"..  Bacon never lived here and nowhere recorded that he ever visited here either.
Preservation of Virginia acquired Bacons castle in the 1970's at auction.

The only surviving Jacobean structure.

Not sure of when the addition on right was constructed.

Triple stacked chimneys

17th century English garden beautifully restored.  I thought I had snapped a long shot of the wall that the plantings are in front of but obviously not, dern.
Some plantings

Beans and a plant that looks to be red perilla.  I am thinking that is what it is.  I have it in my yard and has frilly leaves.  Mint family it belongs but doesn't taste a thing like mint, well to me anyway.  Tasty and I have used it in salads and sauces.  Lot of people mistake it for purple basil and some call it coleus.  Very pretty plant.

 While I am thinking about it, here is a picture of some Perilla growing in my yard.  I dry some leaves and use it in my sauces.  I like it in my spaghetti sauce. I have always eaten it. Perilla an herb. The leaf and seed are used to make medicine.

Web MD - says it's used for treating asthma, nausea, sunstroke, reduce muscle swelling etc..

Back to the  garden at the Castle

This soil has sand in it like mine does where I live, not quite this much.

Tobacco.  My Mom lived in Chase City Va. and she talked about picking off the Tobacco worms on the plants and how they would hang the leaves up in the barn to dry.  She also told me that she used to sneak out, roll a leaf and smoke one.  No, she didn't take up the habit of smoking either.

In the distance Steve taking a walk

Gotta have grape vines

Inside we go for a tour - I noticed right away I have the same door knocker.  Named Doctors door knocker. .  Georgian design. Used to identify the front doors of doctors.  Ours was on the door when we purchased our house.  I like it and will not change it.

More tomorrow of the inside.

Oh yeah,  it's haunted.  Aren't they all?  I have never been one to really believe in ghosts like some do.  I have yet to hear or see one and have been in a lot of these old structures.
Fun to read about though.


  1. This is beautiful. I love the Perilla leaves. They can be great front yard ornament.

    1. Yes, they can be so pretty mixed with other plants.

  2. What a fun tour you took us on. I enjoyed the triple stacked chimney, I have never seen one like that before. It is always a joy to stroll around a garden and be inspired.

    1. It surely is. Loved the tour inside too.

  3. Wow, I didn’t realize they were building homes like that here in 1665! That’s about the time my English ancestors were coming ashore and building log cabins. It’s beautiful, and I’m thinking by now, the end of July, those gardens must be so lush and colorful. The tobacco fields here are at their peak. While i don’t approve of using the product, they do look nice! Looking forward to seeing the interior.

  4. Loved the post. We try to get out in the fall and look as places. Seem to be too busy the rest of the year. That would be a great place to see.

  5. WOW!!
    What an amazing post, Betsy!! Thanks so much for the tour!! I am finally sleeping in the bed now...for over a week or so!! I have to sleep with a pillow between my legs... I can't wait until the Summer s over and the swelling goes down because I feel so much better when the heat and humidity is down....Thanks so much for stopping by!!

  6. Betsy, you visit some of the most interesting and beautiful places. Those old historic buildings and gardens are just wonderful. I have never heard of Perilla. The leaves do look a bit familiar though so maybe I have seen it and just didn't know what it was. I do have grape vines, however. They are simply just taking over our world. We hate to trim them down at the ground as they have crawled so high up in the trees that then they will just be dried up dead vines hanging down. Happy Weekend and thanks for your visit. I wish I had planted sunflowers too. I love the smaller variety but never seem to see them in the stores..xxoJudy

  7. Dearest Betsy,
    That is an interesting all brick Castle for the region.
    The part to the right does not look like being from that era, wonder what the history on it tells.
    Lovely garden as well.
    Did you check my reply to your comment here:
    Sending you hugs,

  8. Great post Betsy, enjoyed your photos very much and now you have given me another place to visit. Looks very interesting and I am putting this on my list. The story about your mom made me smile, and those Perilla leaves are very pretty. Thanks so much and have a great week.

  9. Absolutely beautiful Betsy!! A wonderful place to spend some time. The history is amazing! The door knocker is lovely! Thank you!!


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