This historic home was completed in 1815 and made open to the public by Richard H. Jenrette, who donated the home in 1993. The home offers interpretive tours operated by Jenrette's foundation, the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust. Visitors can take guided tours that include a discussion of the history of the region in the early nineteenth century, as well as views of authentic home furnishings and replicas of clothing from the era. The home's collection of Federal period antiques are the highlight of the tour, along with original works of art and information about the history of the area from trained docents. While on the tour, notice the 14-foot tall ceiling on the first floor—a rare feature in even the most elaborate homes built in the early 19th century.
Backstory and Context
The plantation originally encompassed 503 acres and included slave quarters along with many other outbuildings that were lost to the ravages of time. Today, the home and grounds sit on 60 acres that include several scenic trails that connect to the neighboring woods. The most popular trail is known as "Poet's Walk", which is a one-mile trail that stretches around the banks of the Eno River and back to the home. This trail overlooks the Kirkland family cemetery.
The town of Hillsborough, which was briefly North Carolina’s
state capital during the Revolutionary War, is home to many charming
colonial-era homes. However, Ayr Mount is considered the most impressive.
"Ayr Mount History," Classical American Homes Preservation Trust, http://classicalamericanhomes.org/ayr-mount-history/
"Timeline of the Kirkland Family," Classical American Homes Preservation Trust, "http://classicalamericanhomes.org/timeline-archaeology/