The South Flanker, today's House Museum, was originally built in 1755 as gentlemen's guest quarters and together with the North Flanker - a library and conservatory - completed Henry Middleton's overall grand design. It is the only surviving portion of the three-building residential complex that once stood overlooking the Ashley River. The flankers, along with the main house, were burned in February, 1865, just two months before the end of the Civil War. The South Flanker was the least damaged of the three buildings and was restored to provide family living quarters. Repairs began in 1869 and included a new roof, Dutch gable ends and an entry hall leading from the Greensward. Thus strengthened, the South Flanker survived Charleston's Great Earthquake in 1886, that felled the gutted walls of the other buildings. By 1870 the Middletons returned to live again at Middleton Place and the South Flanker continued to serve subsequent generations until becoming a House Museum in 1975.
The Gardens at Middleton Place, which Henry Middleton envisioned and began to create in 1741, reflect the grand classic style that remained in vogue in Europe and England into the early part of the 18th century. Following the principles of André Le Nôtre, the master of classical garden design who laid out Vaux-le-Vicomte and the Palace of Versailles, great attention was paid to woods and water. Rational order, geometry and balance; vistas, focal points and surprises were all part of this garden design.
Visit the Middleton Place Plantation Stableyards for a look at 18th and 19th century working plantation life. In the Stableyards African American slaves cared for the animals and performed agriculture-related chores. The skilled slaves were also responsible for making tools, pottery, clothing, and other products to support a fully functioning plantation.
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