Last month when we were in Richmond, we were surprised to learn that the area has several historic homes. These mansions were home to Richmond’s elite & many are now open to the public for touring. Here are two of our favorites:
Maymont Mansion & Grounds
Maymont, which is located on a large 100 acre estate on the banks of the James River, was once owned by Major & Mrs. James H. Dooley, who lived there from 1893 to 1925. Mr. Dooley made his fortune in railroads & built the 12,000 square foot home. The mansion is unique because the Dooley’s were the only family to ever have occupied the space – after Mrs. Dooley’s death in 1925, the mansion was reopened as a museum within six months.
We arrived at Maymont with grand plans to tour the inside of the house, but soon our dreams were dashed: the next tour was not available for another hour & 45 minutes. Bummer. Instead of waiting around, we decided to just explore the beautiful grounds.
We only saw about a quarter of what there is to see – the estate includes gardens, a wildlife center & a children’s farm. If you visit on a nice weather day, be sure to leave plenty of time to enjoy the entire area.
Agecroft Hall has a very unique story: the mansion was actually originally built by the Langley family in Lancashire, England at the beginning of the 15th century. Richmonder Thomas C. Williams, Jr. purchased the neglected house in 1925 & had it moved in pieces, where it was reassembled on the banks of the James River in a new planned community.
Stepping into Agecroft Hall is like stepping back in time. The rooms are decorated with dark wood & the whole house has a very masculine feel to it. Admission is $7 per adult & includes an extremely detailed guided tour. The tour took about 90 minutes (which is probably about 30 minutes too long…), so be prepared to invest some time if you’re visiting here. Make sure to also leave some time to visit the beautiful gardens. They were in full-on summer mode when we were there, but I’m guessing they’re nothing short of spectacular during the spring.