Drayton Hall is the nation’s finest and earliest example of fully executed Palladian architecture and its double portico is acclaimed as the first of its kind in the world. Other features include a post-Civil War African-American tenant house and one of the oldest documented African-American cemeteries in the nation still in use.
When the National Trust acquired Drayton Hall in 1974, it made the decision to “preserve” or stabilize the site. This action—unprecedented in its day—set Drayton Hall on a course unique among historic sites: it preserved its authentic, centuries-old timeline of history rather than restoring it to one specific period.
Drayton Hall’s Collections tell a rich diversity of stories, including those of family, ethnicity, innovation and artistry, social and economic enterprise, the impact of war, and the natural environment. Its impressive Collections of 18th- and 19th-century decorative arts and artifacts bear witness to these stories.