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Bacon's Castle

Bacon’s Castle: Bacon’s Rebellion

The name "Bacon's Castle" is derived from an event in 1676. That year, Nathaniel Bacon and his men led an uprising in Virginia against the Colonial government. After burning Jamestown to the ground, Bacon's forces retreated to Gloucester. He sent William Rookings and seventy men to establish a stronghold in Surry County. Rookings took over Arthur Allen's home and occupied it for four months. Allen had previously fled the county because he supported the Governor. The men ate Allen's cattle and depleted his stock of wine as well as looting linens and other household supplies. Archaeological evidence of this occupation was discovered on site and visitors to Bacon's Castle can see some of the wine bottles and bones that may have been eaten and drunk by Bacon's men!

The Rebellion came to an end when Bacon died of an illness at his headquarters in Gloucester. His men deserted their posts at the house allowing the family to return. Allen later sued the men who had occupied the house for the damages incurred.

The name of Bacon's Castle seems to date from the 19th century. Major Allen certainly wouldn't have approved! During his lifetime the house was known as "Allen's Brick House" because it was one of only a few houses made of the expensive material in the Colony.