Restored home of the 5th president of the United States and close friend of Thomas Jefferson. James Monroe's 550 acre estate recreates the atmosphere of a working farm, with strutting peacocks, spinning and weaving demonstrations, open hearth cooking demonstrations and tours of the house and gardens.
Thomas Jefferson encouraged James Monroe to purchase the land adjoining Monticello to form "a society to our taste" in rural Albemarle County. Monroe and his family owned the plantation from 1793 until 1826. Originally named Highland, the estate was renamed Ash Lawn in the 1840s, and in 1974 industrialist Jay Winston Johns bequeathed the estate to the College of William and Mary, Monroe's alma mater, with instructions "to operate this property as a historic shrine for the education of the general public."
Today visitors can stroll through the lovely 200-year old boxwood gardens, tour the charming frame and brick house or admire the views in all directions as they walk the grounds. Of particular interest are the newly refurbished interiors, lovely herb and vegetable gardens, and a statue of James Monroe at one end of the boxwood gardens. The statue is an excellent representation of Monroe, who served as President of the United States from 1817 to 1825. Monroe was the author of the "Monroe Doctrine", which established both the right to independence and freedom from future colonization by Europe for the countries of the American continents.
Throughout the year there are many special events such as spring garden events, James Monroe's birthday, the Summer Opera Festival and the Plantation Days Weekends. Yuletide festivities are from December 1 to 29.
November to March - daily, 11am to 5pm
April to October - daily, 9am to 6pm.
Early and evening openings can be arranged for groups.
2 1/2 miles from Monticello on Route 795, off Route 53.
1000 James Monroe Parkway
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Phone: (434) 293-9539