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“A Lexington Historical Gem”

Ashland: The Henry Clay Estate
Ranked #11 of 120 things to do in Lexington
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The site of celebrated statesman Henry Clay's original 672-acre estate that once grew hemp, tobacco and grain is now a museum and National Historic Landmark, where visitors can tour the reconstructed 18-room mansion, grounds and beautiful gardens. **PLEASE NOTE: The house is closed seasonally in January and February. We will open on our normal hours on March 1, 2016**
Middletown, Oh
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“A Lexington Historical Gem”
Reviewed November 18, 2007

To visit Ashland is to take a trip back in time. The estate has been preserved for future generations as well as a tribute to a man that played an important role in the history of the U.S. Ashland is located at the edge of downtown Lexington close to other historic attractions.

All tours of the inside of the house are guided. Our tour guide was knowledgable and was able to answer all the questions we asked of her. As we made our way through the estate she pointed out many interesting features as well as historical items on display. My favorite was the dueling pistols used by Henry Clay on two occasions.

You explore the grounds and gardens on your own with the help of a brochure and placards placed at points of interest. The ice houses are an interesting feature as well as a display of the archeological dig of the old privy.

I recommend a visit to Ashland for anyone, especially for those interested in historic places and history.

2 Thank jmeinhardt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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314 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Upstate NY
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“An important historical figure”
Reviewed November 6, 2007

I did a whirlwind tour visiting parts of nine states in nine days. I saw eight presidential sites. I tried to squeeze in a tour of Ashland on three different days, finally succeeding on the third day. I'm definitely glad I did! I visited on October 13, 2007.

The home and grounds are quite interesting. This is not the actual physical home where Henry Clay lived. That home fell apart in 1852 and had to be demolished. This home is a replica built on the spot by Clay's children.

The tour guide was excellent and quite knowledgeable about both the history of the home and Henry Clay. She also knew about other important historical figures of Henry Clay's time such as Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren.

The tour lasts about an hour and there is a video which gives interesting facts about Henry Clay and Ashland. The tour focuses solely on the inside of the home.

Plan to have some time to explore the grounds. There was a Civil War skirmish right on the grounds. In the backyard of the property, there is a monument describing the skirmish.

Henry Clay is buried in the Lexington Cemetery a few miles away. His cemetery monument is very elaborate. The gift shop clerk showed me a picture. It looks like it's definitely worth seeing. I missed seeing it because they were closing the cemetery gates just as I drove by (a little before 6pm).

I'd definitely recommend visiting this home if you are in the Lexington, KY area.

5 Thank wrc5252
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
150 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 292 helpful votes
“19th Century Lexington”
Reviewed September 20, 2006

Touring this estate is a bit like going back in time. The tour began with a film about Henry Clay, his home, and his family.

Among other things, Mr. Clay was US Secretary of State under John Quincy Adams and is "Kentucky's favorite son."

There's a small museum on the ground floor, but valuable pieces are displayed throughout the house. Notice the glass goblet owned by George Washington.

For the person interested in grand, old homes, antiques, or history, Ashland is a must when visiting Lexington.

4 Thank TravelingGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
53 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 214 helpful votes
“Henry Clay Home, Lexington Kentucky November 2, 2005.”
Reviewed January 3, 2006

Henry Clay Home, Lexington Kentucky November 2, 2005.
Big Kudos to valm226@aol.com of Columbus,Ohio.
I would like to echo exactally what they said !!!!

In addition I would like to say that the Henry Clay Estate is more than just the house tour. The whole property is about 20 acres of the original estate grounds.
The grounds are absolutely emaculate and no trip is complete unless you spends some time in the garden area.

Check out the Calendar of Events for scheduled Chamber Concerts and Candlelight Tours in late November and December.Thats always neat.

Henry Clay was known as "The Great Compromiser" for his ability to bring others to agreement. He was the Peace Commissioner at Ghent and he was nominated for Presidency several different times.

Do a google or yahoo search on Ashland: The Henry Clay Estate for more information.

5 Thank crud_bud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Kentucky
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“The historical informed or curious will appreciate”
Reviewed August 22, 2005

It is dismaying to see that another traveler gave this a below average review...the horse farms indeed are beautiful but if that person would have bothered to listen they would have realized that it is only because of people like Henry Clay and other earlier affluent Kentuckians that there are the beautiful lineages of race horses today...while history may not be for everyone, you must see this lovely grand old home which has been restored to it's former state. As you venture from room to room, you hear the voices from the past whisper to you...the informative tour winds through the floors of this rambling old estate while giving you a quick lesson on the politics of the Kentucky frontier and the more genteel lifestyle afforded Mrs. Clay and Henry's family. It may not be as PC as modern day dictates, but remember this was a different time, folks. I marveled at the tiny, tiny shoes worn by the ladies of the family and the waist size of the lovely gowns that must have rivaled Scarlett O' Hara. On my last visit to Lexington, we did not tour the home, but rather I took time to drive a friend down Richmond road at dusk just to see the house from the outside, (she had never been)...and as the night crept upon us, the scent of fragrent flowers filled the summer air as the soft light emitted from the windows in the old home. If we squinted just so, we could almost imagine the ladies putting out the lantern and the fine carriage rolling up the drive, home at last from what might have been a long days journey from Frankfort or Paris....the gentle laughter of children as they are called down from climbing the majestic trees on the lawn in time for supper and then off to bed...history is a living thing in such a house, it recalls a simplier time. We hope you will visit this place and perhaps take home a piece of times past and even a new fact or two about the people who lived and loved in this pretty place.

5 Thank vivienleigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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