Walkway up to Cragfont

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A visit to Cragfont is a step into the past combining cultural and architectural history. Started in 1798 and completed in 1802 by General James Winchester, Cragfont was the finest mansion house on the Tennessee frontier. The General named his mansion "Cragfont" as it stood on a rocky bluff with a spring at its base. Until 1864, Cragfont was occupied by members of the Winchester Family. To the rear of the mansion is the Winchester family cemetery where the General and Mrs. Winchester and members of the family are buried.

General Winchester and his brother George, who was ambushed and scalped by the Native Americans in 1794, had came to the wilderness frontier in 1787. Born in 1752 in Carroll County, Maryland, General Winchester, the son of an aristocratic family of English descent, brought stone masons, carpenters, and joiners 600 miles through the wilderness from his native Maryland to construct his mansion. The mansion was built of gray rough finished Tennessee limestone quarried on the property; poplar, walnut, cherry and ash were hand-hewn and cut from the surrounding virgin forest. Cragfont was in contrast to the typical log houses in the area.

An interesting architectural feature of this "T" shaped house is the seven iron stars used as anchor plates for iron rods extending from the front to the rear to strengthen and tie the structure together. In the attic, the intricate king post truss systems was used, with the beams put together with wooden pegs. The truss construction is similar to an inverted boat and gives us a clue that the carpenters were familiar with ship building. Other interesting features of this great house include the original stenciling on the parlor walls, the stippling on the parlor mantel and stair risers, the original wood work and flooring, the kitchen as an integral part of the house and second floor ballroom, the first in the Tennessee country.The galleries on each side of the ballroom present beautiful views of the old garden, which has been restored and the magnificent rolling countryside.

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Side porch at Cragfont in Castalian Springs, TN
Side porch at Cragfont in Castalian Springs, TN
Interior room of Cragfont
Interior room of Cragfont
Gazebo in Cragfont gardens
Gazebo in Cragfont gardens

200 Cragfont Rd
Castalian Springs, TN 37031

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Admission Rates
$4/Seniors (aged 55+)
$3/Children (aged 6-12)
Free for children aged 5 and under

Group Rate:
$3/person for groups of 30+ adults
$2/person for student groups (aged 6-12)

April 15-November 1
Tuesdays-Saturdays: 10am-4pm
Sundays: 1pm-4pm
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  • Group Discount
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