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Home » Peter Dickinson Hampton Park: A Long and Eventful History

Peter Dickinson Hampton Park: A Long and Eventful History

Hampton Park is a historic estate in the heart of London that has been home to the Dickinson family for centuries. The property spans over 6 hectares and includes several stately buildings, including a Grade I listed mansion. But Hampton Park’s history goes further than just its architecture. It has been the scene of many events and occasions, including the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011. To learn more about this fascinating estate, read for an overview of its long and eventful history.

The Hampton Park Plantation

The Hampton Park Plantation is the location of one of the oldest continuously operated plantations in Virginia. It was first settled by the Peter Dickinson family in 1619 and has been in continuous operation since then.

Over the years, the plantation has seen many changes and updates. In the 18th Century, it was expanded with a new house and outbuildings, including a flour mill and cooper’s shop. In 1773, Major General James Grant bought the plantation and began to improve it considerably. He added an elegant formal garden, an orchestra pit for concerts, a bowling green, stables, and more.

In 1812, General Thomas Jefferson purchased Hampton Park from Major General Grant. He continued to improve it over the years and added several notable features: The Walled Garden (1817), slave cabins (1820), dome (1822), dairy (1827), icehouse (c. the 1830s), smokehouse (c. 1840s), carriage houses (1851), aviary (1860s-70s). Jefferson also created extensive gardens along the banks of the James River that are still preserved today as part of Hampton Park Plantation National Historic Site.

Today, Hampton Park is home to several museums – including The Peter Dickinson Museum, which showcases both historical artifacts from throughout the plantation’s history as well as modern art exhibits; The James Grant Museum, which displays replicas of some of the original buildings on the estate; and The Gordon-Con.

The Civil War

The Civil War was a time of significant change for Hampton Park. The plantation was divided into two, and both sides fought for control over the property. Hampton Park was also used as a base of operations by the Union army.

After the war, Hampton Park experienced a period of reconstruction. Much of the original architecture was destroyed during the war, so new buildings were constructed. Hampton Park continued to be a popular tourist destination until the 1950s.

Today, Hampton Park is owned by The National Trust for Historic Preservation and is open to visitors interested in learning about its history.

After the Civil War

The Peter Dickinson Hampton Park estate is a historic house and garden located in Hampton, New York, United States. The property was originally part of an 80,000 acre (32 km2) tract granted to Major General Philip Schuyler by the British crown in 1784. It is now open to the public as a museum operated by the Friends of Hampton Park nonprofit group.

The mansion was completed in 1853 for Judge James Hammond and his wife Sophia, who had married in 1830. Hammond was one of the earliest judges appointed to the New York Supreme Court and served from 1825 until he died in 1854. The Hammonds were prominent abolitionists and hosted many luminaries of the time at their homes, including Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Harriet Tubman.

After the Civil War, Hampton Park became home to Union officers from both sides. General Ulysses S. Grant stayed at Hampton Park while rehabilitating after being wounded at Vicksburg and later commanded all Union armies during the American Civil War. Confederate general Stonewall Jackson also visited Hampton Park after his surrender at Appomattox Court House in 1865. Friends of Hampton Park now maintains the grounds as a museum open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.

The Hampton Park Plantation in the 20th Century

Today, the Hampton Park Plantation is a sprawling 5,000-acre estate with formal gardens and ornamental waterways. The plantation was purchased initially by Peter Dickinson in 1865 and served as his home until he died in 1899. Dickinson was an accomplished lawyer, poet, and author who became one of the most influential figures of his era.

Dickinson was born on July 2nd, 1833, in Ottery St Mary, England. He emigrated to the United States in 1853 and studied at Princeton University before becoming a practicing attorney. In 1865, he purchased the Hampton Park Plantation in Virginia from John Randolph Jr. The plantation had been owned by the Randolph family for over two centuries and included 1,200 acres of land along the James River.

Dickinson quickly made alterations to the property and began hosting lavish social events. He became close friends with many of America’s leading politicians and intellectuals, including Andrew Johnson (the 17th president of the United States) and William McKinley (the 25th president of the United States). In addition to hosting lavish parties, Dickinson cultivated a wide variety of plants at Hampton Park, which he used as models for his landscaping designs.

Dickinson died on October 12th, 1899, at 76, after a long bout with liver disease. The Hampton Park Plantation remained passed down through successive family members until it was sold to George Mason University in 1966. Today, Hampton

The Hampton Park Plantation Today

The Hampton Park Plantation is a historic plantation home near downtown Charleston, South Carolina. The plantation was the childhood home of poet and author Peter Dickinson and remained integral to the local community.

Initially founded in 1680 as a tobacco plantation, the Hampton Park Plantation today encompasses over 259 acres with numerous outbuildings, including a large mausoleum that was added in 1853. The plantation has undergone many changes over the years, but it retains its original architecture and features many authentic antiques and artwork. The property is open to the public for tours every day except Christmas Day. 

Peter Dickinson grew up at Hampton Park and spent much of his childhood exploring its expansive grounds. He later wrote about his experiences there in poetry and novels, such as “The Return of Philip Neri” and “Atropos.” The house at Hampton Park served as the backdrop for several scenes from Dickinson’s works, making it one of his most famous sites. Visitors can still explore the property and learn about its rich history.


The Peter Dickinson Hampton Park estate is a fascinating place with a long and eventful history. Initially settled by the Mayflower colonists in 1620, the land passed through the hands of many prominent families before being acquired by Peter Dickinson in 1851. Since then, it has seen everything from revolutions abroad to fires at home and has been home to some of England’s most influential figures. Today, the estate retains much of its original character and charm – making it an ideal spot for weddings or other special occasions. If you’re interested in learning more about this unique property, check out our article!

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