Drayton Hall was begun in 1738 and was completed after four years of construction by European and African American craftsmen. Today, its Georgian-Palladian architecture represents the oldest surviving example of its kind in the American South. Still without running water, electric lighting, or central heating, the preservation of the house extends to its guests a sense of timelessness and continuity. Its mere existence proves its strength against the tests of time and change, disuse and nature.
Drayton Hall is the only plantation house on the Ashley River to survive the Revolutionary and Civil Wars intact. After seven generations, two great wars, and numerous hurricanes and earthquakes, the main house of this National Historic Landmark remains in nearly original condition. The entire site serves as an eloquent testimony to America's heritage.
Drayton Hall provides an unmatched opportunity for telling the story of South Carolina and the nation. Its main house is a landmark in American architecture and craftsmanship. Its grounds offer archaeological sites that date back to Native American presence (8000 years ago) as well historical gardens, rice fields, and salt water marshes, all of which tell of the interaction between people and nature over time. Such resources provide excellent opportunities for interweaving the four strands of social studies (history, geography, political science, and economics) as well as teaching across the curriculum, interweaving, for example, social studies, language arts, science, or art. All programs are connected to the South Carolina Curriculum Standards in five subject areas and are inquiry-based. Perhaps its greatest strengths lie in the fact that Drayton Hall offers the opportunity for a personal experience of history as a story about real people living real lives in real places.
School Programs: Click here for more information about educational programs and resources for students and teachers offered by Drayton Hall.