Kensington Plantation House

E of Eastover off Rte. 764, Eastover, South Carolina


Kensington Plantation, Main House


Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey

View photos at Library of Congress


Street View 


One of a number of plantations founded by the Singleton family in the early 1800's, the Kensington Plantation is known for the architectural significance of the main house and was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. The main house, built by Matthew Richard Singleton in the early 1850's, is unique in its bold expression of French-inspired forms and detailing. ... Stabilization and partial rehabilitation of the Kensington House is scheduled to begin in 1983. Deteriorating outbuildings, including the summer kitchen, plantation store, the Matthew Singleton residence and the Lanham residence are to be demolished during the rehabilitation effort. -- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS SC-129)

Construction of the Kensington Plantation House began in 1851 and was completed in 1853. Its builder, Colonel Richard Singleton, was a wealthy planter of cotton. His sister was Angelica Singleton Van Buren, daughter-in-law and hostess of President Martin Van Buren in the White House. The design is unique in its predominantly Italianate elaboration wedged into a plain farmhouse. In ways, this juxtaposition can be seen as reflecting Singleton, and others like him in South Carolina’s ante-bellum era. Born in a world totally dependent upon agriculture, Singleton sought the luxury and some of the pretense of great wealth in the international sense. Kensington presents contrasts between the avant-garde and the very insular. In feeling, Kensington is a plain South Carolina farmhouse wrapped around an ambitious central section. The central portion of the building is domed with a copper roof surmounted by an iron balustrade. The central portion is flanked by lower wings that have arched colonnades. On the land front is a porte-cochere with arches and pilasters in the Corinthian style with restrained animals motifs. The house is wood, set upon a raised brick basement. The principal hall reaches two-and-one-half stories up to the dome, which contains a skylight of glass. A balcony surrounds the hall at the second floor level. Listed in the National Register January 25, 1971. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on January 25, 1971
Reference number
Architectural style
Victorian: Second Empire
Areas of significance
Landscape Architecture; Architecture; Agriculture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Period of significance
Significant years
1851; 1853
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 1
Contributing sites: 3
Non-contributing buildings: 1

Update Log 

  • October 15, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View" and Imported Photo
  • October 15, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller