Cultural Institutions

Kensington Mansion

Scarborough-Hamer Foundation Logo

Located on the Wateree River in lower Richland County, Kensington Mansion remains one of the few antebellum plantation houses in the area open to the public.  Charleston architects Edward C. Jones and Francis D. Lee designed this 12,000 square foot house for Matthew Richard Singleton and his wife, Martha Rutledge Kinloch.  After her husband's death in 1854, Martha Singleton continued to manage Kensington plantation until after the Civil War, increasing its acreage, cotton production, and slaves.  Forty buildings housed enslaved workers at Kensington, including Jacob Stroyer.  Stroyer later wrote about his experiences at Kensington in his memoir, My Life in the South, first published in 1879.

Kensington plantation remained in the Singleton family until 1910 when it was sold to Robert Picket Hamer.  His son Robert Cochran Hamer inherited the house, and with his wife Jane Porcher DuBose and their family, lived and farmed there until 1941 when it was acquired by Palmetto Farms.  Kensington remained abandoned until 1946 when it was purchased by the Lanham family.  In 1981, they sold the property to Union Camp (later the International Paper Company), who restored Kensington Mansion between 1982 and 1984.  International Paper continues to maintain the mansion, related outbuildings, and the grounds at a cost of more than $60,000 each year.  In 1996, International Paper and the Scarborough-Hamer Foundation formed a working partnership to provide tours of Kensington for the general public.  The mansion is currently furnished with objects from the Scarboroughs, Hamers and related families.

Kensington Mansion

Rickie Good

(803-) 353-0456

Highway 601
Eastover, SC  29044