Friday, February 7, 2014

Elegant Ruins and Outdoor Options at Barnsley Resort

Elegant Barsnley Manor Ruins

Halfway between Atlanta and Chattanooga lies Adairsville, set among the rolling foothills of North Georgia. Barnsley Gardens and Resort features the plantation estate of a prominent family including their manor ruins, while the adjacent Spring Bank Plantation provides upland acreage for sporting pursuits. Together they present a rare combination of history, hunting heritage and modern comforts.
In the 1850’s this 2000-acre parcel belonged to Godfrey Barnsley, a wealthy cotton and sea merchant who built a manor on a hilltop overlooking his English gardens, fishing ponds and horse barn. From the second floor the view of the mountainous escarpment in what is now known as Bartow County must have been commanding. The Italianate structure was the main family residence just prior to the Civil War.
Ruins are a nice setting for Happy Hour
History records that Barnsley Manor served as the headquarters for Major General J.B. McPherson and that a skirmish with the 2nd Alabama cavalry occurred there on May 18, 1864. A book regarding the entire history of the Barnsley family and property is now available for sale at the resort. When the roof of the manor was struck by a devastating storm in 1906, it never recovered and today the ruins reveal the hand made brinks, window arches and the overall grand design.
Outdoor garden party at the Barnsley Ruins
The ruins have been restored to a safe state so that guest may tour them anytime but they have also sweetened the deal by offering the manor ruins as a facility for special occasions. Of course, with no roof the weather must be right, but having attended one of there famous garden parties this fall I can relate how the old ruins can come back to life for a short time. Furniture is brought into the house, serving tables and bars too. A long dining table can seat thirty guests in the back yard and is also a favorite spot for weddings. Only one’s imagination limits the entertaining possibilities at the ruins, what I consider to be the gemstone of the resort.

Sporting options include plantation style quail hunting
A local resident owns Barnsley Resort now and caters to the affluent traveler, carving out an affiliation with Southern Living properties. The accommodations are rows of cabins that line a layout created for a sense of community, where walking or maybe a golf cart ride can access the entire property. I especially appreciate the wood-burning fireplace in each unit, which is appropriate for this region, and an ample supply of firewood is stacked outside your door.
When visiting for a quail and pheasant hunt, guests will want to visit the pro shop that is filled with Orvis products, and their affiliation with Italian gunmaker Caesar Guerini allows for the sale of fine firearms. Spring Bank Plantation offers 1800-acres of red clay footing and stately Georgia pines that are correctly spaced for quail hunting. Ample cover for bobwhites is present in the form of native grasses and broomsedge, and a fleet of jeeps are waiting to transport hunters into their quail woods.

To view the remainder of my feature article in the newspaper click on Charleston Mercury 

To view past blog entries from Barnsley Plantation and Resort click here.

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