On Risky Regencies this week I mentioned that the dh and I were celebrating our wedding anniversary. We took a little trip to Stratford Hall in Westmorland County, Virginia. Stratford Hall is in the part of Virginia called the Northern Neck, the peninsula bounded by the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. It is an area steeped in history, where George Washington was born, for one, also James Madison, James Monroe, the two Lees who signed the Declaration of Independence, and, at Stratford Hall, Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
We stayed in the Cheek Guest House, which had 15 hotel quality rooms, a full shared kitchen and living room and a lovely deck.
The dining room had not opened to the public for dinner, but it opened for us and I had the best chicken salad sandwich I ever ate (it’s half gone in this photo)
After dinner we walked the grounds of the Great House and saw the sheep grazing, watched over by a llama!
The next day we took the tour of the Great House and heard its history.
The house was built by Colonel Thomas Lee in 1730 in the Georgian style that was so familiar to this Regency author. Two of his younger sons were signers of the Declaration of Independence. His oldest son was Phillip Ludwell Lee, Sr. who sired two daughters, one of whom married her second cousin Lighthorse Harry Lee, a hero of the Revolution and a such a good friend of George Washington that he gave Washington’s eulogy. Lighthorse Harry’s wife was the heir to Stratford Hall, but when she died in childbirth, Lighthorse Harry was allowed to live on there. He eventually remarried and Robert E. Lee was the last of his sons. Robert E. Lee lived at Stratford Hall for only his first four years, but he was to remember it fondly for the rest of his life.
The house is furnished in period detail and some of the pieces are original to the Lees.
Coincidentally, the other people on the tour with us were from England and one was a creative writing teacher! Small world.
The dh and I also visited the scenic view of the 17 million year old Stratford Cliffs
And the Grist Mill
Stratford Hall is a working farm with cows and chickens as well as sheep (and the llama) There are plenty of hiking trails to explore, but we did out walking around the Great House.
It was a lovely, relaxing perfect time and we’d love to go back again.
It occurred to us both that it would be a great place for family reunions, weddings, or writers retreats!
I’m counting down the days to the release of A Lady of Notoriety. Check out my contest.
I’m also doing my very first Goodreads Giveaway! Here’s the widget!