Green Spring Plantation in James City County about five miles (8 km) west of Williamsburg, was the 17th century plantation of one of the more popular governors of Colonial Virginia in North America, Sir William Berkeley, and his wife, Frances Culpeper Berkeley.
Sir William Berkeley, who served several terms, is perhaps the best-known of Virginia's colonial governors. Contrary to popular belief the well-known Berkeley Plantation in nearby Charles City County was not named in his honor.
Today, a section of the land that formed the core of Green Spring Plantation is part of the Colonial National Historical Park.
The name Green Spring Plantation originated from the natural spring on the site, which continues over 350 years later to produce huge quantities of very beautifully clear, ultra cold water. The Green Spring produced a flow "so very cold that 'twas dangerous drinking the water thereof in Summer-time," wrote a visitor in the 1680s."
Seeking alternative export products to supplement tobacco, which had become the Colony's mainstay, Green Spring produced flax, fruits, potash, rice, silk, and spirits, which were shipped to markets in North America, the West Indies, Great Britain, and Holland.
The plantation was owned by Governor William Berkeley until his death in 1677. When Berkeley's widow Lady Frances married Philip Ludwell, ownership passed to him, and then to his son Philip Ludwell II and grandson Philip Ludwell III.
Green Spring Plantation witnessed many historic events, including the beginnings of slavery in Virginia, Bacon's Rebellion in 1676, the Battle of Green Spring during the American Revolutionary War in 1781, the emancipation of its slaves in 1804, by the will of William Ludwell Lee, son of William Lee, and the nearby Battle of Williamsburg in 1862 during the Peninsula Campaign of the American Civil War. A second mansion on the site was burned during the Civil War.
Closed to the public.