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“Definitely a Curiosity”
Review of Longwood

Ranked #2 of 50 things to do in Natchez
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Construction on this architectural gem, the largest octagonal house in the U.S., began in 1860, but was interrupted by the onset of war. A National Historic Landmark, the still-unfinished mansion is an enduring symbol of the impact of the Civil War.
Beaufort, South Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Definitely a Curiosity”
Reviewed July 4, 2013

This was one of four mansions I toured today. I am glad I included this one, but if you only have time to see one antebellum mansion, it should not be this one. The draw of Longwood is really its story, rather than its execution. The owner picked an cutting-edge, 6-story octagonal design from the book of a Philadelphia architect. The entire structure was completed in a year, but only the basement level interiors were finished. The Civil War intervened and the family continued to dwell in the basement with five unfinished stories above them. The exterior, meant to have been stuccoed and scored in imitation of stone, remains brick. It claims to be the largest octagonal building in the United States. The furnishings are not glamorous if that is what you wish to see. In sum it is a very sad place, with a sad place in history.

Visited July 2013
Thank vlbvoyager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,138 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2013

I love Longwood Mansion. It is not your run-of-the-mill mansion. It is completely different. The tour is very informative with extensive history and the sad tale of why it was not completed. I visited Longwood in 1991 and made the time to revisit it during a one-day stay in Natchez 22 years later. That is how drawn I felt by Longwood. Even if you aren't a mansion/plantation enthusiast, make the time to visit this one. As to the ghost I felt both times... well, that's up to you to believe or not.

Visited July 2013
Thank Mary C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heavener, Oklahoma
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“you get to see it”
Reviewed June 30, 2013

to believe worth the trip a most unique structure with an interesting history this house has and interesting history

Visited June 2013
Thank stephen h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
82 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Beautiful House of History”
Reviewed June 26, 2013

My husband and I spent a few days in Mississippi and this was probably one of my favorite spots! We had learned about it from the Smithsonian Channel’s Aerial America and as we had extra time, decided to stop by. We didn't really know what to expect so when the guard demanded $12 per person to enter the grounds, we were a bit surprised at the fee. What he didn't tell us (actually, he didn't tell us anything except what we owe & he was kind of rude about it) was that the $12 pays for a pretty extensive tour of the interior. You can't go in the mansion otherwise. I had expected to just go in and out but as it turns out, there are tours every half hour and they take you through the basement, which is the only finished part of the home, and the first floor while giving a pretty extensive history. The whole thing was fascinating and both my husband and I enjoyed the tour. The $12 was worth it!

Visited May 2013
Thank AmericanExpeditioner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
3,087 reviews
1,214 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,023 helpful votes
“You have to see it to believe it”
Reviewed June 25, 2013

If you visit Natchez, Mississippi, and fail to take a tour of Longwood, you missed the grandest attraction of all. Trust me, you've never seen anything like it. We have visited Longwood on three occasions and never have failed to come away with a feeling of awe. Longwood is the largest octagonal house in the United States--but it never was completed. You can marvel at the outer structure of six stories. But the inside, except for the first floor, wasn't completed because northern craftsmen left when the Civil War began in 1861. Many of their tools remain as they left them. It is breathtaking to stand in the rotunda and stare up at the Byzantine-Moorish dome with a 24-foot finial. The owner died in 1864 but his wife and their eight children lived on in the basement or first floor until her death in 1897. Many of the family's original furnishings are displayed. It is a one-of-a-kind structure that calls you back to the kind of world Margaret Mitchell wrote about in her epic novel, Gone With The Wind.

Visited June 2013
Thank Taylor B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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