"built about 1840 Destroyed by fire in 1963. U.S. Hwy 61, St. Francisville, La."
- The original owner, John Crocker, built an eight-room house on 15,000 acres of land in 1790. David Barrow and his first wife Sarah were given this house and land as a marriage gift from his from father Bartholomew Barrow in the 1820s. After Sarah Barrow died in 1846, David married his second wife Sue. What makes this house unique is that David Barrow kept the original house intact while adding to this house and created a French Gothic Chateau Antebellum Mansion after expansion in 1849. Legend has it that the new house was copied from a chateau in France.
Barrow’s remodeled Afton Villa house had 36 more rooms and a Gothic exterior that contained insert porches, balcony porches, stem pillars, mouldings, panels, and panel tracery- all carved out of logs- piece by piece. Inside the home, the stair hall was comparable with any English Manor of the period. Carved doors, spindles, casings, and mouldings were completed with Gothic accuracy. English interpretation was the predominating detail of the house- with a reverse curve bordering on late flamboyant, a French interpretation.
Over the next hundred years, the house was a finishing school for girls at one time and even abandoned for several years. The last owners of this mansion, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Percy, purchased the property in 1945 and completely restored the house to its former grandeur. Mrs. Percy purchased as much of the original furniture as she could find as well. The mansion was destroyed by fire in 1963.
The property was sold in 1972 and the present owners lovingly have preserved the gardens and continue to share them with the public.
The ruins have been transformed into a garden where flowers bloom year round. The original gardens that comprised over 20 acres of formal gardens have remained intact and have been resurrected to their original grandeur. I have been visiting these gardens for years...
House destroyed by fire in 1963. Gardens and ruins open daily 9:00 to 4:30, March 1 to June 30 & October 1 to December 1.