Drayton Hall, circa 1738, is the oldest unrestored plantation house in America still open to the public and the nation’s earliest example of fully executed Palladian architecture.
In mid-2018, fresh additions to Drayton Hall's facilities make your visit to Charleston's most important historic plantation even more exciting and and your journey at Drayton Hall is now constantly changing. Visit the new Museum Gallery and Collections, Educational Center, Courtyard Garden, Caretaker's House, Café (opening August, 2018) and curated Museum Shop.
Drayton Hall, Charleston, South Carolina’s only unrestored plantation house, was acquired by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1974. Instead of restoring it to a specific time period, the Trust took a radical approach to preserve, or stabilize, the site. Today, after seven generations, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and numerous hurricanes and earthquakes, the main house remains unaltered, allowing the beauty of the architectural details and compelling stories of its history to become the focus for visitors. The entire site—including the historic grounds with its ancient live oaks, broad vistas, vanished structures, and rare period features—serves as a testimony to America’s heritage.
Visitors discover Drayton Hall through daily tours, programs, and activities, including professionally guided tours, interactive educational programs, the 18th-century African-American cemetery—one of the oldest documented African-American cemeteries in the nation still in use, self-paced nature walks, and a popular Museum Shop with a collection of signature merchandise inspired by Drayton Hall’s history and architecture.