Mathews Manor was one of the 17th-century sites excavated by Colonial Williamsburg's renowned archeologist Ivor Noël Hume during the 1960s. His findings revealed much about early domestic life in the Virginia colony. Mathews Manor was built c. 1626 for Captain Samuel Mathews. The post-medieval Mathews Manor included a projecting porch and center chimney, both characteristic of Virginia's earliest substantial dwellings. Mathews's house burned c. 1650 and was replaced with a smaller house nearby, probably by his son, Samuel Mathews, Jr., governor of Colonial Virginia (1656-1660). Referred to as Denbigh Plantation since the 18th century, this house is now also an archeological site.
The site also includes several 17th-century industrial sites and the archeological remains of the 18th-century home of the Digges family. The foundations of both the Digges and Mathews houses have been capped and delineate their outlines. An 18th-cenutry dairy and early 19th-century kitchen associated with the Digges homestead are still standing. The earliest known porcelain in Virginia, as well as other early artifacts, were found here during excavation. Although now surrounded by residential development, these sites are preserved within a neighborhood park.
Denbigh Plantation Site (Mathews Manor) is located on the south side of Virginia Rte. 60 in a neighborhood park in the Denbigh area of Newport News. The site is accessible to the public daily. Please call 1-888-493-7386 for further information.
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