History, Mystery & A Romantic Resort

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭18:10

Last Tuesday, Butch and I celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary.  Yes, so hard to believe…we still feel so young!  We planned a weekend get-away and traveled an hour and a half from home to Barnsley Resort, a beautiful destination that is part of the Southern Living Hotel Collection!  As always when planning a trip, I researched.  I discovered that Barnsley Resort offers some of our favorites:  exceptional cuisine,  relaxing spa, natural setting, and so much more.  But what piqued my interest was the history of the man for whom the estate is named. Behind Barnsley Resort’s storybook setting is a true love story!  The original manor, called Woodlands, was an estate built by a man-Godfrey Barnsley-for the love of his life, his wife Julia.  The Italianate villa’s construction was begun in the 1840’s.  Today there are only the ruins that  remain of the storied mansion!  History coupled with world-class amenities made for a perfect weekend!

Our Arbor Cottage for the weekend had every imaginable amenity!

The living room was spacious!

A wood-burning fireplace and complimentary house-made snacks…and notice the anniversary balloons…

…left by Barnsley’s Fairy Godmother!

We celebrated our anniversary dinner at the Rice House, an 1800’s era farm house!  It serves as the historical cornerstone on the north lawn of the resort!

The dining room was a beautiful and romantic setting!  We enjoyed a four course meal of the freshest ingredients prepared by Chef Roberto who came to our table and introduced himself. He is a rising star to watch in the culinary scene!

I am a huge fan of pasta, so I could not resist the butternut squash ravioli with roasted winter vegetables, spinach, Georgia Gold cheese, and truffle cream…foodie heaven!

Godfrey Barnsley arrived in America in 1824 from Liverpool, England.  He became one of the ten most affluent men in the South through the shipping business and cotton trade.

After marrying Julia, Barnsley purchased 4000 acres in northwest Georgia to build his wife a grand mansion!

This formal garden was created in the 1840s with English boxwood.  The Boxwood Parterre Gardens were traditionally laid out on level ground to be viewed from a higher elevation.  It was from the third story tower of the Manor House that the intricate designs could be fully appreciated.

Sadly, Julia dies in 1845 before the Manor House was completed and Barnsley ceased construction.
In 1848, the estate and gardens were eventually completed.  The luxurious manor house featured modern plumbing, marble from Italy and France, and furnishings from around the world.

As the Civil War raged, the estate was situated directly in the path of Sherman’s advance.  The estate witnessed a battle on May 18, 1864 and suffered irreparably during occupation of troops commanded by U.S. General James McPherson.

A tornado damaged the home and tore the roof away in 1906.

Descendants of Godfrey and Julia Barnsley occupied the estate until it was auctioned in 1942.  The manor house and gardens fell into disrepair.

Prince Hubertus Fugger of Bavaria purchased the estate in 1988, reviving and expanding the Historic Gardens so that more than 200 varieties of roses thrive. The remains of the Manor House Ruins were restored.

In 1991, Barnsley Gardens opened to the public as a historical gardens and museum.

Butch and I had the opportunity to spend about thirty minutes with Barnsley Resort’s historian and Museum Director, Clent Coker.  His fascinating stories of love, loss and even murder so interested us that we purchased his book “Barnsley Gardens At Woodlands: The Illustrious Dream” that covers a century and a half of adventure, romance, and mystery surrounding the Barnsleys.  We are excited to begin reading!
Facts and information taken from www.barnsleyresorts.com

Town Hall is in the center of Barnsley Resort.

Like 19th-century European villages, tree-lined lanes connect cottages to dining, the gardens and The Spa.
Each cottage is unique…
…with its architecture and size!
Another dining option on site is The Woodlands Grill…

…where I enjoyed a spiced apple waffle for breakfast before a relaxing couple’s massage!

closer both
Linking with Pieced PastimesSilver Pennies, Life on Lakeshore DriveThoughts From Alice, Coastal Charm, My Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaDwellings-Heart of Your HomeSavvy Southern Style, French Country Cottage, From My Front Porch To Yours, Stone Gable, Confessions of a Plate Addict, Worthing CourtBetween Naps on the Porch, Cedar Hill Farmhouse, A Stroll Thru Life, The Charm of Home, Cornerstone ConfessionsA Delightsome Life, Imparting GracePosed PerfectionKatherines Corner, Rooted In Thyme, Share Your Cup, The Enchanting Rose, 21 Rosemary LaneCozy Little House, Rattlebridge FarmRustic & Refined, My Romantic Home, Poofing The Pillows


  1. Kim says:

    Happy anniversary! My husband’s company in Georgia had a long weekend of special business meetings there at Barnsley. I loved it and wanted to stay longer! It’s so quaint in its tucked-away spot. Our cottage was very nice, too. It was a perfect and quiet few days – just what we needed to escape the hustle and bustle of Atlanta, where we lived at the time. I’m glad to know its still thriving!

    • Everyday Living says:

      Kim, we have been thinking about trying out Barnsley for a couple of years and I am glad we finally did! Butch’s work schedule is hectic and we didn’t have a lot of time, so it was most convenient!

    • Everyday Living says:

      Yes, Shirley very sad that Julia Barnsley didn’t live to see the Manor House! Thanks for the warm wishes! Happy Leap Day!

  2. I was thinking yesterday, about what you did for your anniversary. I remembered you mentioning it in a comment to me. What a nice getaway! Sounds like a great celebration. Glad you enjoyed good food, beautiful surroundings, and were able to relax too.
    My info didn’t pop up in the comment up so I guess I missed your yesterday’s post. Didn’t open my computer at all yesterday. Went to my sister’s house after church and we planted spider lily bulbs.
    Have a good week. It’s so pretty outside.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s like a little Southern Living village. ..we love Barnsley and Suzanne loved shooting skeet there…Happy anniversary. ..

    • Everyday Living says:

      Thanks for the warm wishes, Lynda and we had a beauty-filled weekend with lots of memories made! Blessings and Happy Leap Day, Pam

  4. Sandy Park says:

    Happy Anniversary to you two. Thanks for sharing your wonderful anniversary with us. What a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty.

    • Everyday Living says:

      Thank you, Sandy! It was a beautiful weekend and we made lots of memories! Happy 1st day of March, Pam

  5. Mary-The Boondocks Blog says:

    How beautiful and what an interesting history this resort has. It’s quite obvious that you ahd a grand old time! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Everyday Living says:

      Mary, thanks so much! The history was intriguing and it was a weekend of relaxation and memory making! Blessings, Pam

    • Everyday Living says:

      Debbie, thanks so much for your best wishes! This was a great little trip not far from home! Happy first day of March and blessings, Pam

  6. dolores says:

    Muchas felicidades en vuestro 43 aniversario de boda, nosotros os ganamos en 3 años. Somos unos jóvenes veteranos…yo al menos me siento así…
    Gracias por este paseo por Barnsley Resort. Es un lugar muy interesante por su belleza y por su historia realmente romántica.
    Disfruto mucho con todas estas cosas.

    Congratulations on your 43 wedding anniversary, you will gain in 3 years. We are a young veterans … I at least I feel like …
    Thank you for this walk around Barnsley Resort. It is very interesting for its beauty and its really romantic history.
    I enjoy all these things.

    • Everyday Living says:

      Dolores, que son una bendición con sus comentarios! El fin de semana de aniversario fue tan divertido! El complejo era encantador con un maravilloso spa y un comedor! Gracias por sus mejores deseos! Bendiciones, Pam
      Dolores, you are such a blessing with your comments! The anniversary weekend was so much fun! The resort was charming with a wonderful spa and dining! Thanks for your best wishes! Blessings,Pam

  7. Stacey says:

    What a wonderful way to spend your anniversary. The cottages are so perfect and cute! The incomplete manor house is hauntingly beautiful. I bet you loved every minute there.

    Happy Thoughts of Home on Thursday. 🙂

  8. Butch and Pam may I first say “Congratulations and well done!” I would love to visit this resort.
    Thank you ever so much for linking up at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. Your presence adds such a ray of sunshine!

  9. Jann Olson says:

    What a fabulous anniversary! The cottages are so darling, the food looks delicious, and the love story is so sweet! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

We love your comments!