Historic Estate, 5 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, (Sleeps up to 10) 110 Acres, Secluded
Cliff and Joy Williams
About Cliff and Joy Williams
Lightwood is owned by Joy and Cliff Williams. Joy is from County Durham in north-east England, spent part of her childhood in Africa, and came to Virginia to attend Saint Margaret's School. She graduated from the University of Richmond and later received her Master's degree in early American history from the College of William and Mary. Cliff, with old Virginia family roots, spent part of his childhood in Hawaii, attended Indiana University School of Music, and came to work for Colonial Williamsburg as a musician in 1974. He bought Lightwood in 1978 and during the time spent restoring it also worked as an operatic baritone, singing principal roles at such places as the Santa Fe Opera, Barcelona's Teatro Gran Liceo, and the Vienna Staatsoper. He and Joy married in 1989 and lived at Lightwood with their sons until 2003. After moving to Williamsburg, they opened Lightwood House in 2004 as a vacation rental and have enjoyed sharing it with guests from around the world ever since.
Cliff and Joy Williams purchased this House in 1978
Why Cliff and Joy Williams chose Spring Grove
Since the age of ten, I had always wanted to restore an historic house. Several years after moving to Williamsburg to work for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, I discovered Lightwood House abandoned and forlorn in rural, unspoiled Surry County, on the south side of the James River. The house was in an advanced state of deterioration, but still had great possibilities. I began the work in 1978 and after ten years had made considerable progress. However, it has been Joy's influence that has truly civilized the old place and turned it into the gem it is today. Having worked for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation for many years, I was familiar with the love that visitors to the area have for Colonial American history. With Williamsburg nearby, it seemed likely that an eighteenth-century plantation house could be enjoyed by guests as a home base from which to discover Virginia's historic sites.
What makes this House unique
Staying at Lightwood is truly a unique and extraordinary experience and visiting the property can be a vacation in itself. Only a few places exist where it is possible to be so immersed at once in both colonial history and nature. Guests enter a different world after passing through the gates leading to Lightwood, and stepping into the entrance hall is like traveling back in time to the early days of our nation. And although the feel of history is everywhere at Lightwood, all modern conveniences expected in the twenty-first century are provided. The extensive grounds and walking trails at Lightwood are a nature lover's (and a dog's) paradise, and many other historic and scenic sites and attractions are close by. Guests can visit Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, Busch Gardens, and Yorktown from the comfort and luxury of their own eighteenth-century plantation.
Check-in: 4:00 PM
Check-out: 10:30 AM
Events are allowed only with separate agreement
No candles in house.
Maximum of two dogs.
Children's toys, swings, sandbox and play tower
Minimum age of primary renter:25
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
Lightwood House was such a lovely property. Our group of five enjoyed it immensely. The house is so historic, you walk through the door and feel like you’ve stepped back in time. All the basics are provided and more. Once we got the hang of the ferry, it was super easy to hit all the sights the area is famous for. I would highly recommend staying here.
"The Best Vacation in the History of the Entire World"
....at least that is what my daughter said in her note in the memory book at the house for Cliff and Joy. And I would have to agree. Lightwood House was by far the best place that we've stayed. I mean, forget the actual HISTORY of the house and grounds - forget the BEAUTIFUL house and grounds - forget that almost EVERYTHING you need is included in the house..... we actually felt like we had transported into another world. The feeling there was so welcoming and warm, right down to the tiniest touch of fresh flowers in every room. EVERY ROOM. We had so much fun just at the house, besides all the fun we had at all the attractions close by. From Virginia Beach to Williamsburg/Jamestown to Busch Gardens, even to the awesome Chippokes Plantation State Park ---- everything was great. We will most definitely come back to stay at Lightwood House. I would love to see the grounds in the fall !! If you come to this area be sure to see if Lightwood House is available for your stay.
The Perfect Getaway!
Staying at the Lightwood house was amazing. It was very private and when you want to go out to see attractions it's only a short ferry ride away. It was the first vacation that our two dogs didn't have to be on a leash when taken outside so I know they enjoyed it too! The house was beautiful as well as the outside and trails. Cliff and Joy are so great. We did the treasure hunt add on and it was the highlight of our sons vacation. When we left our son said he wants to come every Summer and also every Fall and Winter! Thank you!
Best family reunion ever!
We had a very good reunion with the rest of our family. The accommodations were plentiful and very comfortable, in a beautiful rustic setting. We were in commuting distance of many local attractions, and were able to show our young ones many sites that increased their appreciation of colonial history. Shopping, gas and dining were all accessible by the local ferry, so we were never wanting for anything. We appreciate everything the owners and groundskeepers did to make our stay pleasant and comfortable.
The dining room was very special. The large table allowed everyone to sit together and serve food comfortably, and the kitchen was convenient for both food preparation and cleanup. The colonial style furniture lent a beautiful charm to the entire atmosphere of our stay.
Thank you very much! - The DeWalts
Quaint secluded retreat.
My family spent a wonderful vacation at Lightwood House. The house was equipped with all the amenities we needed for our stay. We can simply pack your bags and food. Everything else is there. We enjoyed walking the trails and peaceful evenings on the patio. The history of the house is amazing. Cliff and Joy did a wonderful job with restoration and period decorating. I loved the privacy of the house and property. We would definitely stay here again.
Pamela and Tom G.
Experiencing history in Colonial America
Our stay at Lightwood House was similar to taking a step back into another era. Cliff greeted us upon arrival and gave us a brief history of the home and pointed out some of the very unique details. During the day, we (3 generations of a family ages 18 months to 62) explored Colonial Williamsburg's historic buildings and interacted with its trade people. After a long day of sightseeing, it was so nice to board the super convenient and efficient Jamestown-Scotland ferry to return to this secluded home away from home. This colonial era home is beautifully decorated and spacious enough for all 5 grandchildren (ages 18 months to age 12) explore and experience. The kids could run around and play in the fenced in back yard and play on the swings while we prepared meals in the kitchen that had all the amenities of our own kitchen. We will definitely choose to stay here when returning to this area!