Gravel Hill Plantation
Gravel Hill Plantation
S-3-342 near US 301, (Allendale vicinity)
circa 1857 – 1859
Architect or Builder:
B. L. Willingham
Signficant Architectural Features:
2 story clapboard Greek Revival house, rectangular in plan, with pedimented gable roof. 4 tall interior side slope chimneys. Front: is symmetrical, AABAA; the most notable feature of the front facade is the 1 story 3 bay portico which has 4 massive square columns and a balustrade along the edge of its roof; the central front entrance is framed by a rectangular transom, sidelights, and pilasters; above the entrance, on the 2nd floor and in the gable end of the roof, are windows with similar moldings and sidelights. A balustraded piazza with 5 small square columns extends along the east elevation and shelters a doorway similar in design to the front entrance. Windows are 6/6, most with louvered shutters. Interior: wide central hall on both floors; on the main floor, an equally wide side hall connects the central hall to the side piazza; a stairway is located at the south end; 8 rooms on main floor, 6 on 2nd floor, 1 off the stair landing, and attic on 3rd level; walls and ceilings are plaster; plaster medallions on main floor; woodwork and mantels are painted to resemble marble. OUTBUILDINGS: Smokehouse, garage, and well
altered - raised terrace connecting front portico ana side piazza added ca. 1900; foundation enclosed ca. 1955; 2 small wings have been added to the rear of the building.
Important not only as an example of Greek Revival architecture, but also as one of few plantations of the Buddenville area remaining from the prosperous antebellum era. Further significance stems from the contributions of the past owners of Gravel Hill, who have been influential in community, county, and religious affairs. The original owner and builder of Gravel Hill was Benjamin Lawton Willingham. His son, Rev. Robert J. Willingham, lived at Gravel Hill until after the Civil War and served as corresponding secretary for the Foreign Board of the Southern Baptist Convention for 20 years. William Bryan, also a former owner of Gravel Hill, served as one of the original members of the Allendale Co. Board of Commissioners.
Source of Historical Information:
National Register nomination, prepared in 1975
Allendale County, 1979-1980
Box 13, Series 108042, Survey of historic resources (county by county data on surface properties), circa 1971-2014