Bellamy Mansion

Follow curving paths in the lush Victorian-style gardens and explore this opulent mansion in the heart of downtown Wilmington, North Carolina.

The Bellamy Mansion is a stunning example of antebellum architecture. New Jersey Architect James F. Post designed the 10,000-square-foot (900-square-meter) mansion, which was built starting in 1859. Wander through the vast gardens and take a group or self-guided audio tour in the historic site.

Explore many of the 22 rooms in this Greek revival and Italianate-styled mansion. Crafted by enslaved carpenters and freed African-American artisans, the site is rich with Civil War-era history. The mansion was built just before the Civil War for physician John Dillard Bellamy and his wife Eliza McIlhenny Harriss. It now functions as a museum of history and design arts.

Notice the lavish iron, wood and metal works. Admire the stylish furniture, rugs and ornamentation. Designed to be both comforting and modern, the Bellamy Mansion is an achievement in architecture and construction. Discover the slave quarters, a building that has been restored back to its original 19th-century condition. Take a group tour with the Bellamy Mansion’s trained guides and learn about the unique history of the house, the slave quarters and the garden.

Walk through the gardens and find snapdragons, echinacea, honeysuckle and black-eyed Susans at different times of year. In the mid-20th century, the garden was left largely unkempt. Following the decision to restore the Bellamy Mansion in 1992, Mrs. Bellamy’s garden was faithfully revived in 1996. This was achieved using antique plants and specimens common in the mid-19th century.

Visit this non-profit educational institution dedicated to fostering an understanding of architectural history and restoration. Plan in advance to truly appreciate the historic Bellamy Mansion. Stop at the Carriage House Visitor Center for admission and orientation. Take a tour Tuesday to Sunday. Visit the gift shop for Bellamy Mansion memorabilia. Park in the free visitor parking lot on Market Street. The visitor center is located behind the mansion, where you will find everything you need to explore this wonderful estate.

Combine your visit with stops at several other Wilmington historic homes. Photography is encouraged at the Bellamy Mansion so bring your camera when visiting this historic and architectural marvel.

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