Collections › MESDA Collection › Mantel

Mantel

Artist/Maker:
Leigh, Richard
Place Made:
Perquimans County North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
1801
Medium:
wood
Accession Number:
5824
Description:
This mantel is from the Richard Leigh house in Perquimans County, North Carolina. The house was likely constructed about 1801 based on signed and dated bricks set into its two chimneys. The bricks carried the initials “RL” for the house’s first owner, Richard Leigh (1773-1822). The house was two stories tall, of frame construction, on a brick foundation laid in Flemish bond. The house had a hall-and-parlor plan, with visitors entering directly into the hall.

Richard Leigh was the son of Gilbert Leigh (d.1792 or 1793), a well-documented builder in both Perquimans and Chowan Counties. His son James Leigh (1781-1854) followed his father into the building trades and Richard may have done the same. Both brothers amassed sizable plantations.

The house was surveyed on page 188 of Dru Gatewood Haley and Raymond A. Winslow “The Historic Architecture of Perquimans County North Carolina” published in 1982. Unfortunately the house continued to fall into disrepair and was demolished in the early 21st century. The two downstairs mantels were both salvaged.

Credit Line:
Gift of Thomas A. Gray by exchange