Barnsley Gardens
Type:Museum, Home
The story of Barnsley Gardens is the story of Sir Godfrey Barnsley, the builder of the mansion and one of the models used by Margaret Mitchell to create Rhett Butler, hero of Gone with the Wind. Barnsley was born in Derbyshire, England on August 26, 1805. After emigrating to the United States he was appointed vice-consul to the Netherlands in 1829 by President Andrew Jackson, later serving as president of the local Chamber of Commerce. He fell in love and wed a Savannah woman, Julia Henrietta Scarborough. His home was one of many in the Adairsville area built by successful businessmen from Savannah, most notably the Reverend C.W. Howard and W.H. Styles. Construction began in the late 1830's. The gardens surrounding Woodlands were based on designs by noted horticulturist Andrew Jackson Downing.

Barnsley Garden quote
The gardens were heavily influenced by ideas in Downing's book A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, but they were designed by Godfrey Barnsley and his caretaker, John Connolly. Barnsley was a firm believer in Downing and had many of Downing's books in his library.
Brad Nestor
Tallulah Falls bottom quote
During the war Barnsley invested his money in Confederate bonds which became worthless. His home was one of the few spared by the federal in The Atlanta Campaign mostly because General McPherson, who spent the night of May 18, 1864 in the structure was impressed by the way Barnsley treated his slaves.

After the war Barnsley made several unsuccessful attempts to recoup his losses. The home, which had been swept by fire, was destroyed in 1906 by a windstorm.

Today the estate is an upscale golf destination, with world-class dining. It also houses the Barnsley Family History Museum, which tells the tale of prosperity, murder and natural devastation. The heirloom gardens that surround Woodlands attract visitors from around the world, and a separate mountain bike track draws sports enthusiasts. Most of the flowers featured in the gardens can be purchased in the plant shop.

Location: West of Adairsville, Georgia
Directions: Directions: from Atlanta go north on I-75 to Exit 306. Go west on GA 140 through traffic light, then take the second left on Hall Station Rd. Go 5.5 miles then turn right on Barnsley Gardens Rd, 2 miles to entrance on the left.
Additional information:
Phone: 877.773.2447
Date added: November 16, 2003
Last update: December 7, 2003

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