|Although the present plantation was begun in 1723, Shirley was founded just six years after the settling of Jamestown in 1607. It was completed in 1738 as the new home for Elizabeth Hill, great grand-daughter of the first Hill (Edward Hill I who had been granted the land in 1660) and her husband, John Carter, the oldest son of Robert "King" Carter. Ann Hill Carter, mother of Robert E. Lee, was born, reared, and married at Shirley. The house stood throughout the Civil War, even when nearby Richmond burned, and today the tenth and eleventh generations of the Hills and Carters operate this 800-acre plantation.|
Facade and entrance facing the Queen Anne forecourtThe two-tiered portico owes to Palladio1 but the original Mansard roof is French in influence. The third floor has prominent dormers. The house is precisely square--48 x 48 x 48 feet
The river side and a view of the James River from the estate
The side and a view of the side and back
Details of the portico
The pediment and the roof detail--a three-foot pineapple finialShirley Plantation uses the pineapple, a Colonial symbol of hospitality, in the interior woodwork as well as on the roof.
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