Windsor Ruins, Claiborne County

Windsor Ruins, Claiborne County – (1859-61) (National Register). The largest Greek Revival mansion constructed in Mississippi, and the only house which could come close to challenging Longwood’s distinction as the most extravagant house ever constructed in Mississippi. Today, the Windsor Ruins are the most imposing ruins in the United States, and I do not feel that that statement is an exaggeration. David Shroder designed Windsor for planter Smith Coffee Daniell II as the centerpiece for his 2,600-acre plantation. Daniell spent $175,000 constructing Windsor (which only equates to $3.5 million today due to the use of slave labor), including such features as cast iron Corinthian column capitals, twenty-five fireplaces (one for each room), a fourth floor ballroom, rooftop observatory, and indoor plumbing. Like the other owners of the extravagant antebellum Mississippi mansions (Frederick Stanton and Haller Nutt), Daniell came to a premature end before fully enjoying his mansion; he only lived a few weeks at Windsor before dying at 34 years old. In 1890, Windsor burned to the ground (there are conflicting versions of how it burned), leaving twenty-three of the twenty-nine, 45-foot tall columns standing, along with the cast iron entrance stairs (now at Oakland Memorial Chapel) and a few pieces of cast iron balustrade. The MDAH owns Windsor Ruins.

2 replies

  1. This place is in the middle of nowhere, but it is so mysterious, I just happened upon it by chance and couldn’t believe what I saw. Its not holding up well with age, don’t know how much longer before it starts falling.

  2. Certainly it is always in danger, but you might be interested to know about the recent work that MDAH, the owner, has begun: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.477984602295959.1073741831.353630224731398&type=1

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