• Day10

    Charleston – Middleton Place

    June 1, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Thursday 1st June
    Carlisle apologised again for our room not being serviced and reduced the price by $25 per night which we were grateful for. After checking out of Thomas Lamboll house and before setting off for the Inn at Middleton Place, the plantation we are staying at we did a tour of Nathaniel Russell’s house in Charleston. His house has been restored and preserved so you can see how he and his family and descendants lived from the mid 18th Century onwards. Another very interesting tour which we recommend.

    Middleton House is only 13 miles outside Charleston so it didn’t take long to get there, after stopping at ihop for brunch. Middleton House is absolutely fabulous, it’s the sort of place we treat ourselves to one or two nights on holiday. We are kicking ourselves now we didn’t stay here instead of Thomas Lamboll. We did the house tour this afternoon which explained that the original house and most of the original buildings were burnt down in the American civil war. What remains is the rebuilt wing of the house and outbuildings. A lot of the contents of the building was looted or burnt by the Unionists. Back in the day the Middleton family owned several plantations and many slaves. They were an extremely wealthy and influential family, one of the main families in the area and abroad in Russia where a descendant was a Governor to the Tsar before returning home. There are vast grounds attached to the house, and the terraces where rice was grown – for that was what the slaves grew and harvested for export to Britain via Charleston, are still clearly visible. The house and its grounds are next to the river Ashleigh which is a tidal river and was important for the rice harvesting. There are several lakes in the grounds as well, which again were controlled to assist the rice crop. Walking alongside the lakes we saw several alligators of varying sizes from 3’ to 6’ basking on the grass banks of the lakes. As we got close they raised themselves up and slowly slid into the lakes. Some just lay and watched as we walked behind them – quickly! There is so much to see here it won’t be possible to see it all in the little time we have. We did get to look around the farm which has various breeds of animals that would have been on the plantation; goats, sheep, horses, water buffalo, guinea fowl, and 1 cow which people were allowed to have a go hand milking. Obviously, I volunteered to have a go and did rather well as did Peter. Lots of information and products from the various occupations that were used – blacksmith, pottery, weaving and spinning, tallow candle making, cooper and carpenter. It was fascinating. Tomorrow before we leave we want to look round the extensive gardens. After the tours and walking we felt very hot and sticky so went for a dip in the pool which is set next to the river in the woodland. It was delightful and very refreshing. All around the grounds hammocks are slung between trees and benches are strategically sited with excellent views for guests to use. This was another establishment that did hors d’oeuvres – wine, beer, cheese and meatballs. We went along and joined in, it was delicious. We could get very used to the hors d’oeuvres hour!
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