A New View

26/07/13 7:59 PM

We have taken thousands of photographs of Belle Grove Plantation over the last two years.

But one of them we haven’t gotten was from the river.

Last night, we were invited to come along on a boat trip by Jim from Port Royal.

He knew we wanted to see this view and took us out in his boat.

All I can say is….. WOW! 


It looks so much more beautiful looking at it the way the builders intended it to be viewed. You know, when it was built, all travel was by boat. So the riverside of Belle Grove Plantation is in fact the front of the Mansion. 

And what a view it was!






Just so you can understand the land between the Mansion and river.

Mansion’s Riverside is a River Plateau.

From the door to the first terrace is about a hundred yards.

Then we have two more terraces that are about 50 feet each.

Then we have a brush line that marks the drop off. This drop off is about 20 feet straight down to the waters edge.

Of course it didn’t hard that it was time for the sun to set too!


The James Madison Bridge.

Belle Grove is on the other side of the river and the other side of the bridge.

The Ferry that once worked from Port Conway is just to the right of the bridge on the other side of the river.





I normally don’t include out of focus pictures, but this one was just so pretty!


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Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Belle Grove History, Darnell History | 36 Comments »

36 Comments on “A New View”

  1. Great pictures from the river!

  2. Thank you! It was just beautiful!

  3. What a gorgeous view!

  4. Thank you!

  5. I love this view of the house.

  6. Thank you! I wish I could see it from this view more often!

  7. p3farm Says:

    Love the blurry photo!!! Place looks amazing from the river!

  8. Thank you!

  9. […] A New View. […]

  10. Thank you so much for sharing our blog with your readers! It really means allot to us!

  11. seniorhiker Says:

    The mansion is even more magnificent (if that’s possible) when seen from the river. All of your photos are wonderful.

  12. Thank you! Yes I have to say after seeing it it is possible!

  13. Deb Says:

    Oh Michelle, that is wonderful! Maybe in the future an access could be created down that terraced area and 20 foot drop for some direct river access and some boating for your guests 🙂

  14. We hope to have an access someday! Of course that will be phase five! 😉

  15. Angeline M Says:

    That first photo is gorgeous!

  16. Thank you!

  17. Gorgeous views, Michelle! The plantation looks so stately from the river!

  18. Thank you!

  19. John Says:

    Excellent photos! Will you be installing a docking structure on the river? Or would it be torn apart in winter?

  20. Thank you! We hope to in the future. It will have to wait until we get more pressing things done first.

  21. Chris Brann Says:

    DO you have access from the river, how did they use to get up to you?
    Great view

  22. Thank you! We don’t have access at this time. But will in the future. I am sure they had access at some point.

  23. Jane Sadek Says:

    This really is the view the builders intended. Marvelous!

  24. Thank you!

  25. Stunning. My mommy loves seeing pictures of plantations from the river. That’s the way they were meant to be seen.

  26. We totally agree! Thank you!

  27. lynnwyvill Says:

    Gorgeous photos. You get an entirely different perspective on a house from a water view. And that sky – Awesome!

  28. Thank you! We love it too!

  29. These photos are absolutely gorgeous. The house looks so majestic!

  30. Thank you!

  31. chrisstov Says:

    Nice Sun shots.

  32. Thank you!

  33. David Says:

    Beautiful views.

    From the river side, Belle Grove looks very grand. It must have been very impressive in Madison’s day.

  34. It is a grand view. However, the mansion wasn’t there when Madison was born. It was built in 1791 when Madison was 40. The first section that was built was not nearly as elegant as the section that was added in 1839. By then Madison had been died for three years.But if he could have seen it, I know he would have loved it. I like to think he is coming back to see it every now and then. 🙂

  35. […] hope that Michelle does not mind my borrowing two of her photos to show you what Belle Grove looks like from the river, the way it was designed to be seen for those arriving by […]

  36. Thank you for sharing our blog with your readers! We really appreciate it!