Middleton Place

I scanned the map as we prepared to leave Charleston and saw a nearby dot for Middleton Place. The skies were threatening and we had a long drive ahead of us that day, but the reviews were thumbs-up for Middleton Place, so off we went.

What a find! I will go so far as to say it is a must-see if you are visting Charleston. Dating back to the seventeenth century, Middleton Place is a quintessential example of an antebellum plantation.

Aerial view (image from middletonplace.org)

Aerial view (image from middletonplace.org)

One of the first things you learn upon arriving at Middleton Place is that the Main House was burned by a detachment of the 56th New York Regiment days after the fall of Charleston in 1865. I think the CE was wearing his Yankees cap that day, and I do believe I detected a slight edge in our docent’s honey-sweet Southern accent as she informed us of the destruction and vandalism that befell the estate in those last days of the American Civil War. A gentlemen’s guest quarter house still remains but we didn’t have time to take the House Tour.

This was a guest house - you can only imagine what the main house must have been like! (image from middletonplace.org)

This was a guest house – you can only imagine what the main house must have been like! (image from middletonplace.org)

We chose to roam the grounds instead, and even though the day was blustery, we felt that we had been transported to an Arcadian idyll. Let me just say that I could be very happy living at Middleton Place in any century!

Formal garden

Formal garden

Middleton Place is sited on the Ashley River. I don't know what kind of birds these are but I was alternately fascinated and creeped out by them.

Middleton Place is sited on the Ashley River. I don’t know what kind of birds these are but I was alternately fascinated and creeped out by them.

Approach to the mill.

Approach to the mill.

In South Carolina, where you have a pond, you most likely have a gator to greet you.

In South Carolina, where you have a pond, you most likely have a gator to greet you.

We wandered only a few of the plantation’s sixty-five acres and we were charmed by everything we saw. Especially once we happened upon the stable yards! We saw a mare frolicking with her foal, a pig so big he could keep you in bacon for a year, water buffalo, cattle and – oh happy day – CHICKENS!

Katherine, this one is for you!

Katherine, this one is for you!

Pearl-Helmeted Guinea Fowl are often kept for pest control. Sweet little things but oh, those heads!

Pearl-Helmeted Guinea Fowl are often kept for pest control. Sweet little things but oh, those heads!

Belgian draft horses.

Belgian draft horses.

Lots of sheep with their spring lambs.

Lots of sheep with their spring lambs.

A very friendly Cashmere Goat came to say hello.

A very friendly Cashmere Goat came to say hello.


The first water buffalo to come to the US were shipped from Constantinople (Istanbul) to Middleton Place.

The first water buffalo to come to the US were shipped from Constantinople (Istanbul) to Middleton Place.

Pullets in that awkward stage.

Pullets in that awkward stage.

I think this rooster is a Barred Rock. This seemed to be his favorite hen.

I think this rooster is a Barred Rock. This seemed to be his favorite hen.

God gets an A+ for dreaming up peacocks!

God gets an A+ for dreaming up peacocks!

I wish we could have stayed longer. If you go, plan to spend a half-day to savor everything Middleton Place has to offer. Oh, and wear walking shoes!

swan reflection

Next stop: Asheville, North Carolina.

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
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5 Responses to Middleton Place

  1. dizzyguy says:

    The old plantation has not lost its chops. Just a beautiful place, still. However, the reality of needing slave labor to make it operate is never far away. You can visit the slave quarters, see lists of who lived and worked there, and try to imagine the experience those people had in juxtaposition with the beauty of the place itself. Truly a time and place that has gone by, and many of the stories of life at Middleton Place have vanished with the buildings that were fired by the Yankee troops as Sherman rolled through there with great malice in his eye.

  2. Katherine says:

    Look at the gorgeous goats!!! (Also could be aptly termed gorged-us goats, because they look quite well-fed.) I dare say you don’t need 65 acres in South Carolina, tended to by slaves, in order to have goats. I say 3 acres in So Cal, tended to by a CE and Chloho would suffice. Bring on the goats! (They shed cashmere sweaters, right?)

  3. Mrs. G says:

    Wow! What a find!

  4. Angela Gutsche DiGaetano says:

    GOATS GOATS GOATS GOATS GOATS….!!!

  5. Karon says:

    Next time stay overnight at Middleton Inn, which adjoins the plantation and eat at the restaurant.

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