Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Bacon’s Castle to Host Frost Fair Saturday

Several rooms include photographs of former residents and their family members and antiques that date to 1665, including a baby’s cradle believed owned by the Allen family. (Courtesy Bacon's Castle)
(Courtesy Bacon’s Castle)

SURRY — Bacon’s Castle, the oldest brick house in North America, is hosting its annual Frost Fair holiday event on Saturday, Dec. 9.

This daylong program is set to feature entertainment by the Knights Before Christmas medieval living history group, seasonal food and beverages, open house holiday tours of the Castle, a variety of vendors, a visit by Father Christmas, a bonfire, children’s activities and more.

Originally known as Allen’s Brick House, the site earned the moniker “Bacon’s Castle” in 1676 when several of Nathaniel Bacon’s men occupied the home for four months during the uprising that became known as Bacon’s Rebellion. According to Preservation Virginia, a statewide history education and preservation nonprofit, the site is a rare example of High Jacobean architecture and features a reconstructed 17th-century English formal garden restored by the Garden Club of Virginia.

Several rare outbuildings also survive, including an 1830s slave dwelling, 1701 grainery and an 1840s smokehouse. Preservation Virginia acquired Bacon’s Castle in the 1970s at auction and has meticulously researched, restored and furnished the house.

Frost fairs were popular centuries ago in London when the River Thames froze solid, according to Preservation Virginia. Vendors and the public descended on the ice and revelry would ensue. As one of the few still-standing houses dating back to the 17th century in Virginia, Bacon’s Castle created a similar theme for its annual holiday event.

This year’s event will feature Breezy Hill Meadworks and food trucks from Taco Amigo, Star Jayz BBQ and more.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Castle. Tickets can be purchased in advance on the Preservation Virginia website for $15 for adults and $10 for students, or they can be purchased the day of the event at Bacon’s Castle.

For more information about Preservation Virginia, please visit its official website.

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