South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Drayton Hall, Charleston County (S.C. Hwy. 61, Charleston vicinity)
S1081771000501 S1081771000502 S1081771000503 S1081771000504 S1081771000505
Facade Facade Facade Right Oblique Right Oblique
S1081771000506 S1081771000507 S1081771000508 S1081771000510 S1081771000511
Right Elevation Right Elevation Right Rear
Oblique
Rear Elevation Rear Elevation
S1081771000512 S1081771000513 S1081771000514 S1081771000515 S1081771000516
Left Rear
Oblique
Left Elevation Left Oblique Interior
Right Central
Parlor
Interior
Right Central
Parlor Fireplace
S1081771000517 S1081771000518 S1081771000519 S1081771000520 S1081771000521
Interior
Right Central
Parlor Mantel
Detail
Interior
Right Central
Parlor
Interior
Right Central
Parlor Ceiling
Medallion
Interior
Right Central
Parlor
Cornice
Interior
Right Rear
Drawing Room

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Drayton Hall is without question one of the finest of all surviving plantation houses in America. Its early date, 1738-42, makes its architectural sophistication all the more remarkable. It is far in advance of the great Virginia Georgian plantation houses for which those of South Carolina have a natural affinity. Because Drayton Hall has been barely touched with “improvement” in the ensuing 200 years, it remains for us one of the most treasured of eighteenth century structures. John Drayton, a member of the King’s Council, acquired the land on which Drayton Hall was built in 1738. Perhaps because of their relatively comfortable position in South Carolina society at this early date, the Drayton’s were able to invest in the house a degree of architectural elaboration very rare in America in the first half of the eighteenth century. The house has a most distinctive monumentality achieved through its spacious four room plan and the somewhat vertical proportions of its two-story elevation on a high English basement capped by a double hipped roof. The land side (west) of the house features a carefully proportioned projecting two-story pedimented portico with superposed Doric and Ionic orders. The river fašade lacks a projecting portico, but it has a classical central pediment to emphasize the main axis. Most of the rooms on the inside are fully paneled and the mantel pieces and classical cornices throughout are the highest quality. The house further features rich plaster detailing in the ceilings, and a remarkable fully paneled richly carved double staircase. Listed in the National Register October 15, 1966; Designated a National Historic Landmark October 9, 1960.

View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property.

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