The afternoon air was thick with heat as we drove through the large gates of Middleton Place on that Wednesday. When you are a child, you are taken unwillingly to these historic sites with only a slight interest, yet the dichotomy exists when you seek out these places as an adult – hungry for the experiences, the culture, and the beauty.
Middleton Place sits aback from the bustling city of Charleston, nested in the woods down a narrow road thick with vegetation. The beauty hits you right away. There is also a certain calmness about the land which is unmistakable. 65 acres of unknown beckon to be explored.
Camera steadily in had, the first stop was the reflection pool, which on this day mirrored the bluest of skies directly overhead. Spanish Moss draped neatly from the trees and added the most romantic feel to the pathways. The gardens, cultivated to perfection, showed not a leaf out of place. Butterflies fed hungrily on the blooms and are gone within a few seconds of the shutter snap.
The walk leads to a host of animals – first sheep which are roaming freely among the grounds, then a grouping of horses grazing in the sun. The pens hold a large snoring pig, a pair of submerged water buffalo and a family of goats lounging in the shade.
In the Blacksmith Shop we speak to the craftsman who actually practices the trade. He happily answers questions about the heating of metal to make his latest creations. The iron pieces lay proudly on the table and echo more than a hint of times passed.
The grass is a green, bright and well watered. A marble statue of a woman overlooks the shaded lawns from her perch. The water gives ways to a mill in the distance, quietly pumping water via turbine. The flooded rice field is lined with large live oak, so grand in nature they dwarf any person passing by.
The self-guided tour allows the visitor to stroll the historic landmark at their leisure. Middleton Place was the perfect first stop upon arrival to Charleston. The former plantation yielded some great photographs and experiences – a must see! To see my personal snapshots from the historic Middleton Place view my photo blog here.
Sources: Middleton Place Self-Guided Tour Booklet and Map