A newly released animation (see below) created by Roger S. Guernsey, a Williamsburg architect and Friends of Green Spring board member, was brought to our attention over the weekend by our compatriots at the Friends of Green Spring. The animation illustrates the great size of the manor house of the Ludwells’ Green Spring Plantation, and shows its evolution from its beginnings as Governor William Berkeley’s residence in the early 1640s to its renovation by Philip Ludwell III c. 1740, soon after he returned from London after being received into the Orthodox Church in his early 20s.
The house, which sat approximately five miles west of Williamsburg, Virginia’s colonial capital, was an object of envy of Virginia’s royally appointed governors in the late 1600s and early 1700s, leading to the construction of the well-known Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg in the early 1700s. (The Palace’s last inhabitant was Gov. Thomas Jefferson during the Revolutionary War.) While the Palace itself boasted nearly 6,000 square feet of living space, Green Spring was, at its largest extent, 20,000 square feet in size.
Archaeological research conducted in the 1950s indicates that Philip Ludwell III may have constructed an Orthodox-style chapel on the grounds of Green Spring for use as a place of worship.