Tours

Mansion and Grounds Tours

 

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Explore the Mansion and Grounds where a President was born!

Come walk the grounds where President James Madison drew his first breath. Take in the grounds where James Madison’s mother, Eleanor Rose “Nelly” Conway Madison was born, grew up and returned to have James. Walk through the mansion that Union soldiers forced a family from to take it as a Union Headquarters. Stand in the bowling green where Union soldiers set up camp. View where John Wilkes Booth rode the ferry across the Rappahannock River on the way to Garrett’s Farm. Learn about the Union detachment pursuing John Wilkes Booth stopping to rest, eat and sleep at the plantation. Stand in the Grand Hallway where one of those officers slept.

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See Our Antiques in their Natural Habitant

As you walk through Belle Grove Plantation’s mansion, you will feel instantly transported back with our period antiques. Each room is filled with antiques that reflect a time in the history of this grand Southern plantation.

Our collection was started in April 2013 and has continued to grow. From pieces that were found in antique shopping trips to antique auction, each piece tells us a story of the past. Our collection include very special donated pieces from individuals who wish their pieces to be a part of this very grand landmark. Each of these donated pieces from our candelabras in the parlor to the pewter chess set in the library have come to us with very unique stories that will live on as part of Belle Grove Plantation.

We invite you to come and experience the sights and sounds of a true Southern Plantation.

Belle Grove Field

 
 

Historic Mansion Tours

Wednesday – Sunday  1:00pm to 4:00pm
No reservation required. Last Tour starts at 3:30pm

Our tours are a guided 45 minutes to 1 hour tour through the mansion. All rooms are open with the exception of those that are occupied by overnight guests or event spaces during that time. Grounds are open for self guided viewing with restrictions on the Caretakers home.
 
$15.00 – Adults
$10.00 – Children under 12
Free – Children under 4

Group Tours available – see below

 
Unable to make it during our tour hours? Call and schedule a private tour!
While we understand that not all can come during our tour hours, we do offer a private tour option when date and time is available. Private tours require at least 5 people and must be schedule ahead of time.

Cost for Scheduled Private Tours

Adults – $25
Children – $15

We are sorry, but we do not offer discounts on Private Tours
 

Purchase Historic Mansion Tickets

Tickets are sold at the mansion. They may be purchased with a credit card or by exact cash. We do not maintain cash in the mansion.
 
While Belle Grove Plantation is a historic site and bed and breakfast, the mansion is also a private residence. We do not allow individuals to enter and wonder around the mansion unaccompanied. The grounds are open only during tour hours. We would love to have you come and visit, but please respect our home and hours.
 
Belle Grove Plantation does strive to provide the best possible accessibility to the mansion and grounds to meet our visitors’ diverse abilities and needs. However tours at Belle Grove Plantation do involve a fair amount of standing, walking, and stairs. Chairs are provided within rooms for those that can not stand.
 

 

Enslaved Experience and History Tour

In 2011, we started our research of the history that is Belle Grove Plantation. It was our goal to uncover as much of the past as possible. To discover, to recover and to continue to tell the story. To us, all parts of this history is important. Each worked hand in hand in making Belle Grove Plantation what it is today.

One of the questions we get quite often is did Belle Grove Plantation have slaves? Through our research, we have uncovered names of slaves in wills and death records as well as through the Federal Census. In the Federal Census of 1840, owner Carolinus Turner showed 57 slaves. In the Federal Census of 1850, he had 72 and in the Federal Census of 1860, just before the Civil War, he had 92. The oldest slave we have been able to uncover was a female slave who was 80 years old.

We have made “connection” with the slaves of Montpelier, James Madison’s home in Orange, Virginia. Three slaves, Anthony, William “Billy” Gardener and Suny were known to have come from Belle Grove to Montpelier. Looking at President Madison’s grandmother, Rebecca Catlett Conway Moore’s will in 1761, she gave James Madison, age 10 a choice of five slaves.

Now, you can come and hear about one of our darkest times in Belle Grove Plantation’s history. Our Enslaved Experience and History Tour will cover not only our known history of our Belle Grove Plantation’s Enslaved Community, but will take you on a historic tour of the experiences that slaves endured during this time in American History. See artifacts, both from other areas as well as Belle Grove Plantation with known slave connections. Learn about how Africans changed the way we ate with foods and cooking techniques they brought with them.

We would like to caution you before you select this one hour tour. The subject matter can be graphic at times and is not recommended for the young or easily offended. Please consider carefully before booking your reservation.

Enslaved Experience and History Tour

One Hour Tour conducted Wednesday to Sunday at 2pm each day. Reservation Required.
Cost – $15

 

Ghost Investigation Tours

Is Belle Grove Plantation Haunted?

Many people and paranormal teams have tried to answer this question. Even the SyFy Channel’s Ghost Hunters has investigated. All that come away have the same answer . . . there is definitely something there.
We have seen apparitions. We have heard voices and sounds. We have seen a ball of light in broad daylight! We have photographs that just can’t be explained.

Now we are challenging you to find out for yourself!

Come join us as we discuss past experiences, share photographs, videos and EVPS (electronic voice phenomenon) and do our own paranormal investigation of the grounds.

Tours

Please note – These are a paranormal investigation, not a history tour. Reservations Required.

Special Note – Due to private events at Belle Grove, we will not be conducting Ghost Investigations on the following dates. (Friday, October 13th, Saturday, October 14th, and Sunday, October 15th) Please check our online store for available tickets for our other dates. Our Ghost Investigation Tours will fill fast, so please do not wait to purchase your tickets.

Rates – $15.00 per person – 9pm to 10:30pm *
Available Thursday to Saturday
Purchase your tickets in advance to make your reservation through our online store.
Duration – 1.5 Hours

* For our Special Ghost Investigation Tours on Saturday, October 21st, Saturday, October 28th and Tuesday, October 31st – please check for special event pricing change and time changes.

About
• If you don’t have time for a full 3 hours investigation and have younger kids, this is a family friendly option!
• Learn about past experiences
• See Photo Evidence
• Hear EVPS (electronic voice phenomenon)
• Investigate the paranormal through photos and audio.

What’s Included

Paranormal equipment is used such as a K-2 Meteor, Digital Recorder, Mag Flashlights and Camera with Video. These belong to the plantation and are used to help provide evidence of any paranormal activities.

Investigation will be mainly outside with a visit to the basement.

What to Know

Please dress according to the weather. Comfortable shoes without heels are highly recommended as we will be doing a lot of walking around uneven ground and stairs.

Please bring bug spray if needed. It can get a little buggy during the warmer weather at night.

If you have your own equipment, we encourage you to bring it. Please remember to keep it with you at all times. Cell phones are permitted. Belle Grove is not responsible for lost or broken equipment.

Our ghosts are generally not shy. You will see and hear things at times. Please keep this in mind with selecting to bring small children. The unknown can be very scary to younger children. We do not recommend this tour for children under 16.

Restrooms will be open in the mansion. Please do not bring food or drinks on the tour. You may enjoy them in your car.

Our grounds and house are non-smoking.

After the Tour –
Ghost Investigation Tour Policies – Please read carefully before you book your reservations!

Children 5 to 17 years old or under must be accompanied by an adult who is 21 years or older. No children under 5 please. Please be aware that our ghosts are not shy. If your child scares easily, we ask you to please consider not bringing them.

Please do not arrive any earlier than 15 minutes before your tour.

We ask that you please wear tennis shoes or flat sole shoes for this tour. The plantation grounds are uneven in places and small holes and dips are located around the grounds. Belle Grove Plantation and its staff will not be responsible for injuries that might occur during the Ghost Hunt. By purchasing your tickets, you are acknowledging this.

We encourage you to bring any paranormal equipment you may have along with your camera and flashlights. Cell phone cameras and video may be used if your cell phone is placed in “Airplane Mode”.

There is no smoking on the grounds or around the mansion during our Ghost Hunt Tours.

Please do not bring food or beverages on the tour.

We encourage you not to bring your purses or other items to carry around. Please lock all valuable in your car before the tour. Belle Grove Plantation and its staff will not be responsible for any lost or stolen items. By purchasing your tickets, you are acknowledging this.
Waiting List will be maintained once the spaces are filled. If a cancellation is made, we contact the first person on the list and go down the list until we get an answer. First answer, gets the space.

Tour Tickets are non-refundable. If you need to cancel for whatever reason, you may sale your tickets to another person. Belle Grove Plantation must be made aware of the who the tickets are transferred to 24 hours before the scheduled tour.

 

Parking

Parking is free and available on the left side driveway along the tree line.
 

Questions?

Please email us at information@bellegroveplantation.com or call 540-621-7340
 

SPECIAL NOTE

Belle Grove Plantation Mansion and Grounds Tours will be closed in for the following dates due to Private Events or Holidays.

Saturday, September 30th

Saturday, October 7th

Saturday, October 14th

Sunday, October 15th

Saturday, October 21st (Not So Wicked Witch’s Tea Party)

Saturday, October 28th (Paranormal Spooktacular)

Saturday, November 4th

Saturday, November 11th

Private Events can be adding at anytime. Please check our website before you come to visit for any updated dates. Thank you.

 

Adult Group Tours
Come spend the day where great men and women walked.

James Madison, George Washington and many more have walked these grounds. From the beginning history of America, Belle Grove Plantation has stood witness to it all. Touched by colonial expansion from Europe and by Civil War, Belle Grove Plantation has played a part in the creation of a nation.
 
Belle Grove Plantation offers group tours for 20 or less people.
 

Tour Price

$5.00 – for groups of 10 or more (minimum – 10)

 

Luncheons are available for an additional charge. Cost is determined by the catered menu.

 
Please email us at information@bellegroveplantation.com to schedule you group tour and to discuss luncheon options. We ask for at least two weeks advance reservations for groups.
 

Student Field Trips

 
Sharing the history of Belle Grove Plantation with students helps a new generation to come to understand what life was like at Belle Grove Plantation.

At this time, we are working on creating a program to offer a view into the life on a Southern Plantation.

We hope to offer this soon.