USA 4 June 2014

We visited the unrestored Drayton Hall this morning. It is a plantation home, built in the 1700s and lived in by the same family until the 1970s when the family no longer had the means to maintain it and they sold it to The National Trust for Historic Preservation.

It once was surrounded by magnificent gardens, but those were pretty much destroyed when 8,000 English Troops arrived during the American Revolution. They used the front lawn as a staging post for launching a successful attack on Charleston.

Damage to the buildings was done in the Civil War when the owner removed the lead flashings from the roof so the Southern army could make musket balls with it. Rains destroyed a lot of upstairs plastered ceilings but most of the interior is exactly as it was when it was built, and the ceilings in the lower floors are intact. The owners didn't even add electricity or running water in more recent generations.

Originally there were a number of out buildings but a lot were destroyed in the earthquake of 1886 and more recent hurricanes.

There was a boardwalk through the swamps we could have walked but it had been severely damaged by a recent storm and in some places you had to actually walk in the swamp and there are a lot of snakes there. We decided that we didn't really need to see another swamp.

Yet another house that comes with its own alligators in the grounds. They normally confine themselves to the small lake or swamps, but do roam the lawns at night.

Charleston is a beautiful city, with a great vibe to it, but is so hot and humid. We parked in the historic area so we could walk around and admire all the grand old buildings but after less than 45 minutes we gave up. It is just too humid. It was only 33 degrees C but the humidity made it seem so much more. Back into our air-conditioned car...