Plantation 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 Zambia, and came to Virginia to attend Saint Margaret's School in Tappahannock. 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.
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
Perfect for our family
Our family of 4 adults and 3 children had the most lovely stay. The house is beautiful and the property is nothing short of spectacular. Since we were taking in and experiencing the history of the area, staying in this lovely 18th century home really made us feel like we were living in the moment of the 1700's....except, of course, modern bathrooms and kitchen which had everything we needed. I was worried about having 3 boys with all the antiques but, I did not need to worry. The owners had lots of toys available and the youngsters were able to let their imaginations run wild playing that they they were colonial boys in the revolution. It was a wonderful treat to find this home and live in the history in real time.
Paradise for nature enthusiasts
We loved our experience at Lightwood over spring break. We are a family of nature lovers and couldn’t believe the natural beauty that surrounded us. We saw butterflies, tadpoles, frogs (even tree frogs!), crawdads, turtles, snails, dragon flies, and salamanders. It was so wonderful to have such a peaceful setting to enjoy it all, and we loved how clear the water was in the stream on the property so that we could see so much so clearly. We also went to Busch Gardens and Williamsburg while we were in town, but the property was the highlight for us. For food, my husband loved the meat lasagna at Anna’s and we enjoyed the blackened crab cakes at Surry’s Seafood restaurant. Also, we ordered a coconut cake from Just for Kicks bakery in town and it was absolutely delicious.
A "Living Museum" with every modern comfort!
Lightwood House cannot be praised too highly. Its ambience, charm, plethora of antique furnishings, exquisite grounds and amenities render it quite exceptional as a holiday rental. In fact, I cannot quite believe that the owners are kind enough to share this gem with others; If it were my own, I'm sure I'd covet it privately! While we enjoyed visits to nearby Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown, all our party said that they'd really love just to remain at LIghtwood, on our (inevitable) next stay. Many pleasant hours could be spent, simply enjoying the Williamsburg-inspired gardens and grounds, or wandering in the old-growth beechwood, with its well-maintained trails and abundance of flora and fauna. We enjoyed cooking on the charcoal grill and in the darling kitchen. Setting the table with silver cutlery and good china, and sitting down to a fireside feast in the 1760s dining room were thrills we shan't soon forget. Retiring to our comfortable beds past the ticking heartbeat of the hall clock were a prelude to dreams of a simpler yesteryear.
More than a "holiday rental", Lightwood House is an unforgettable Colonial experience. I envy those who look forward to staying there.
This place is amazing!! It is a unique experience!
This is a historical house and grounds and for that reason alone it was as a memorable experience. We brought our grandchildren and they loved exploring the the nooks and crannies of this beautiful and unique home! Cliff and Joy are wonderful hosts!! We will definitely come back.
Beautiful and Comfortable Historic Home
We loved our second visit as much as the first, and enjoyed walks on the trails, dinners and games in the dining room, and puzzles and books by the fire in the living room. This truly is a special place!
This property was by far one of the best if not THE BEST place we have stayed so far! The history is amazing and you can feel it the minute you drive through the Brick pillars down the private driveway to the house. The large fire pit is a perfect place to relax and roast Smores.
The private hiking trail was so serene and the stream was beautiful. The trail is perfect for a morning hike.
We highly recommend this property for anyone that enjoys history and privacy.
Thanks for the nice review. It was a pleasure having you as guests, and you would be most welcomed back any time. And, thank you for leaving the house in such immaculate shape. I would have hardly known anyone had stayed there, everything was so tidy. It is greatly appreciated!
It is nice to be able to share Lightwood with like-minded lovers of history and nature. Thank you!