Historic Structures

Building Description Windsor Castle Ruins (Windsor Plantation), Port Gibson Mississippi

Windsor was in the raised Greek Revival style with fully finished basement, two residential floors, and an attic. Twenty-nine columns, thirty feet high with ten-foot paneled stucco plinths, supported the projecting roofline with its plain, broad frieze and molded cornice, providing protection for the galleries which encompassed the house at the second and third levels. The fluted stucco-over-brick columns had iron Corinthian capitals and were joined at the galleries by an ornamental iron balustrade. Three flights of iron stairs provided access to the raised second floor on the facade (west elevation) and on each side, and a fourth led up to the ell on the east. Fenestration in the main block consisted of floor length windows on the residential stories and shorter ones in the basement, and spacing was symmetrical on all floors: four across front and rear and six on each side elevation. Doorways were centered and those on the second and third floors were formally treated with elliptical fanlights with radial muntins and rectangular panes in the side lights. A square-shaped cupola was centered atop the hipped slate roof, its glass walls recessed beneath extended eaves which were supported at the corners by three miniature Corinthian columns, reinforcing the stylistic impact of the main block below. The eight chimneys were uniformly simple stacks and, despite their number, a minimum intrusion on the temple effect.

Windsor contained a total of twenty-three rooms and three hallways, with the floor plan of the main block consisting of central hallways with three rooms (measuring approximately 19 feet by 20 feet) on each side. The basement was given over to such utilitarian functions as dairy, store rooms, commissary, schoolroom, and doctor's office. The second floor on the south side of the hall contained double parlors and the library, and on the north was the master suite: bedroom, study, and bath. The third floor consisted of bedrooms and a second bath, and both baths were supplied with rainwater piped from the attic, where it was stored in tanks eight feet wide, twenty feet long, and five feet deep. The basement floor of the ell contained the kitchen and the secondary stairs; the dining room, with pantry and dumb waiter, was located directly above; and on the third floor were three bedrooms. The interior features of Windsor included a spiral staircase offset in the rear of the hallway and twenty-five mantelpieces made of Georgia and Tennessee marble, as well as two marble bathtubs. Ebony-framed mirrors surrounded the dark marble of the library mantelpiece, and chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling mirrors, and red draperies lined with white silk were included in the decor of the parlors.