Wormsloe State Historic Site and Plantation in Savannah, GA


Nestled in the picturesque coastal city of Savannah, Georgia, the Wormsloe Historic Site is a must-visit attraction for history and nature enthusiasts alike.

This hidden gem offers a unique glimpse into the past, showcasing Georgia’s rich colonial history while enveloped in breathtaking natural beauty. With its iconic oak-lined entrance, well-preserved ruins, and captivating museum exhibits, the site provides an immersive experience that will transport you back in time.

Alongside its historical significance, the site also boasts enchanting walking trails and recreational activities, ensuring a memorable visit for all who venture to this treasured landmark.

Wormsloe Historic Site History

The Wormsloe State Historic Site is steeped in a rich history that dates back to 1733, when the Wormsloe Plantation was founded by Noble Jones, one of the first English settlers in Georgia, as part of the Georgia Colony. This colonial estate, now part of Georgia state, is known for having the oldest standing structure in Savannah.

Jones, a close associate of James Oglethorpe, played a significant role in Georgia’s colonial history, serving as a doctor, surveyor, and member of the colonial council. He was involved with Oglethorpe’s Company of Marines and contributed to the “tools and skills that built a colony”.

The site holds a special place in Georgia’s history, as it played a key role in defending Savannah and the coast. Noble Jones designed and built a fortified house out of wattle and daub, a type of concrete he used, which acted as a stronghold against potential invasions.

Today, the plantation, occupying over 822 acres and managed by the Nature Conservancy, remains a rare surviving example of early colonial life in the region, providing visitors with a tangible connection to the past. Its 18th-century architecture and the surrounding 400 oak trees create a unique historical ambiance.

Wormsloe Historic Site Slaves

Over the years, the Wormsloe Plantation passed down through generations of the Jones family, including Elfirda de Renne Barrow and George Wymberley Jones.

Recognizing the importance of preserving the site’s history, the family, along with the state of Georgia, took steps to ensure its continued conservation, culminating in the State of Georgia acquiring ownership of Wormsloe.

In 1979, the plantation was designated as a historic site, and since then, it has been a place where people can learn about and appreciate Georgia’s colonial past.

The site hosts numerous events and exhibits, bringing to life what life was like in colonial Georgia under the stewardship of the University of Georgia and the insights from the New Georgia Encyclopedia.

Why is it Called Wormsloe?

This place, originally known as Wormsloe estate, derived its name from the Jones family’s ancestral home in England.

Noble Jones, the founder of the plantation, named it after the village of Wormelow Tump, also known as Wormelow, in Herefordshire, England. The name “Wormsloe” is a variation of “Wormelow,” and it was chosen by Jones as a way to honor and maintain a connection with his family’s roots and heritage, including his descendant Wymberley Wormsloe de Renne.

Significance of the Site

The historical site played a crucial role in the defense of Savannah and Georgia’s coast during the early colonial period, particularly around 1775. Noble Jones, who had a background in military engineering, designed and constructed a fortified house known as the tabby house on the plantation.

This fortified structure served as a defensive outpost against potential invasions by the Spanish and other adversaries. Additionally, Jones was responsible for overseeing the construction of various forts along the Georgia coast, further fortifying the region against potential threats.

As such, Wormsloe held significant strategic importance in protecting the young colony, with Jones’ experience as a marine playing a key role.

Wormsloe Historic Site Slaves Plantation

This place is a rare surviving example of early colonial life in Georgia, providing visitors with a tangible connection to the region’s past, now under the care of the Nature Conservancy.

The site’s well-preserved ruins, including the remains of the fortified house, offer a unique glimpse into the day-to-day lives of early settlers in the area. The plantation’s historical significance is further highlighted by the fact that Noble Jones played a prominent role in Georgia’s colonial history as a doctor, surveyor, and member of the colonial council.

Wormsloe, therefore, serves as a window into not only the life of Noble Jones and his family but also the broader story of the English settlers who helped shape the region during the colonial era.

Transition to Becoming a Historic Site

As the Wormsloe Plantation was lovingly passed down through the generations of the Jones family, they came to understand the importance of preserving the site’s rich history.

As people became increasingly aware of the need to protect and conserve historically significant landmarks, both the family and the state of Georgia joined forces to ensure Wormsloe’s continued preservation.

Savannah Wormsloe Historic Site Entrance
Quoc Bao Vu

In 1973, the family established the Wormsloe Foundation as a means of supporting the site’s preservation and maintenance. The foundation has been instrumental in funding various restoration projects, educational programs, and research initiatives, all aimed at deepening our understanding and appreciation of Wormsloe’s historical significance.

In 1979, the Wormsloe Plantation was officially designated as the Wormsloe Historic Site, ushering in a new era of conservation and public access to the property.

The state of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources now manage the site, working hand-in-hand with the Wormsloe Foundation to ensure its ongoing preservation.

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the state and the Jones family, the site has become a living testament to Georgia’s colonial past.

These preservation efforts guarantee that Wormsloe’s history, natural beauty, and cultural legacy will remain accessible and cherished by visitors for generations to come.

The Iconic Avenue of Oaks

The Avenue of Oaks is a breathtaking feature that greets visitors as they approach here. This enchanting tree-lined entrance boasts over 400 live oak trees, stretching for nearly 1.5 miles and forming a stunning canopy overhead.

The majestic trees, draped in Spanish moss, create a serene and awe-inspiring atmosphere, setting the stage for the historical journey that awaits within the site. The picturesque beauty of the Avenue of Oaks makes it a popular spot for photography, and it has become a symbol of the site’s charm and allure.

Andrea Moscato

The oak trees along the Avenue of Oaks hold historical significance, as they were planted in the early 1890s by Wymberley Jones De Renne, a descendant of Noble Jones. These trees have borne witness to over a century of history, standing tall as silent observers of the passage of time.

The impressive age of the trees adds a layer of depth and reverence to the visitor experience, connecting them to the site’s rich past.

The Avenue of Oaks serves not only as a visually stunning entrance but also as a living testament to the plantation’s enduring legacy.

Wormsloe Ruins

The Wormsloe Ruins are the remnants of the original fortified house built by Noble Jones in the 1730s. Constructed primarily from tabby, a unique building material made of oyster shells, lime, sand, and water, these ruins offer a glimpse into early colonial architecture and life.

Although the structure is now a shell of its former self, visitors can still appreciate the layout of the house, which was designed to withstand potential threats from adversaries.

Among the remaining structures, the ruins of the fortified walls, the foundations, and some architectural features provide a tangible connection to the site’s historical significance.

Wormsloe Historic Site Ruins
Mark Denton

To help visitors better understand the history and context of the Wormsloe Ruins, interpretive signs have been placed throughout the site, providing detailed information about the ruins and the people who once lived there.

Additionally, guided tours are available, led by knowledgeable and passionate tour guides who offer engaging stories and insights into the lives of the early settlers, the construction of the fortified house, and the challenges faced by the inhabitants during the colonial period.

Wormsloe Historic Site’s Museum and Visitor Center

The Wormsloe Historic Site’s museum and visitor center provide an engaging and informative experience for visitors looking to delve deeper into the site’s history and Georgia’s colonial past.

Through a variety of exhibits, the museum presents the story of Wormsloe Plantation, Noble Jones, and the early settlers who shaped the region.

The exhibits showcase the daily lives, challenges, and accomplishments of these settlers, as well as the broader historical context of the colonial era, helping visitors gain a better understanding of the significance of Wormsloe within Georgia’s history.

The museum also houses an impressive collection of artifacts that have been unearthed at the plantation and surrounding areas.

These artifacts, which include tools, pottery, weaponry, and other everyday items, offer a tangible connection to the people who once lived and worked on the plantation. The display of these artifacts provides visitors with a unique opportunity to examine and appreciate the craftsmanship, ingenuity, and resourcefulness of the early settlers.

What to Do at Wormsloe Plantation

Walking and Hiking Trails

The Wormsloe Historic Site offers a variety of walking and hiking trails that cater to different skill levels and interests. The trails wind through the site’s lush maritime forests, marshlands, and along the picturesque colonial-era remains.

Some popular trails include the easy-to-navigate Nature Trail, which is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, and the more challenging Battery Trail that leads to the ruins of a Civil War-era earthwork battery.

These trails offer an excellent way for visitors to explore the site’s natural beauty and diverse landscapes while enjoying a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike.

Birdwatching and Wildlife Observation

Wormsloe’s diverse ecosystems provide excellent opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife observation. As you meander along the trails, keep an eye out for various bird species such as woodpeckers, wading birds, songbirds, and birds of prey.

Wormsloe Historic Site Songbirds

In addition to birdlife, the site is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, raccoons, and marsh-dwelling creatures. The scenic trails and diverse habitats make Wormsloe a perfect destination for nature enthusiasts and wildlife photographers.

Movies Filmed at Wormsloe Plantation

The historic site, with its picturesque scenery and historic charm, has served as an attractive location for film productions.

One notable movie filmed at the the site is the 2009 drama “The Last Song,” starring Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth. The film, based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, utilized the enchanting Avenue of Oaks for some of its scenes, adding a captivating backdrop to the story.

The natural beauty and historical setting of Wormsloe have made it an appealing choice for film and television projects over the years.

Wormsloe Historic Site Entrance Fee

For the most accurate and up-to-date information on hours of operation and admission fees, it is highly recommended that you visit their official website.

This will ensure that you have the latest details on visiting hours, ticket prices, and any possible changes or special events that may be taking place during your visit.

Wormsloe Historic Site Tours

Knowledgeable and passionate guides lead visitors on informative tours through the site, sharing engaging stories and insights about the early settlers, including George Frederick Tilghman Jones and Noble Wimberly Jones, the construction of the fortified house, and life during the colonial period. These stories also encompass the contributions of notable figures like Mary Jones Bulloch, adding depth to the rich tapestry of Wormsloe’s history.

These tours provide a deeper understanding of the site’s historical significance and the challenges faced by the inhabitants, including those related to the Jones family. Guided tours are available on a schedule, so it’s a good idea to check the site’s website or call ahead for the most up-to-date information.


How to Get to Wormsloe Historic Site?

To get to the the park, located at 7601 Skidaway Road, Savannah, GA 31406, follow these directions from downtown Savannah:

  • By car

To reach by car from downtown Savannah, head south on Martin Luther King Jr Blvd and turn left onto W Gwinnett St (signs for US-80 E). Merge onto GA-25 S/US-17 S via the ramp to I-16 and continue for about 1.5 miles. Then, take the ramp onto GA-21 S/US-80 E and proceed for approximately 4 miles before turning left onto Skidaway Road. Drive for around 6 miles, and you will find here on your left.

To reach by car from Forsyth Park, head east on Park Avenue toward Drayton Street. Turn right onto Drayton Street and continue until you reach Victory Drive (US-80 E). Turn left onto Victory Drive and follow it as it becomes Skidaway Road. Drive for approximately 6 miles along Skidaway Road, and the this plantation will be on your left.

There is parking available on-site for visitors arriving by car.

  • By public transportation

As for public transportation options, you may want to check with the local Chatham Area Transit (CAT) for updated bus routes and schedules that could bring you close to the site. However, please be aware that public transportation options to here may be limited.

Here is Wormsloe Historic Site map.


What is the significance of the Isle of Hope in relation to Wormsloe?

The Isle of Hope is a key location in understanding the Wormsloe site. It’s a historic district that provides a glimpse into colonial life and is closely tied to the history of Wormsloe and its surrounding areas.

Can you tell me about the Wormsloe Historic Site and its history?

Wormsloe Historic Site, often referred to as Wormslow, is a significant area that dates back to 1733 with James Oglethorpe’s arrival. It includes the Wormsloe House, built in 1828, and is renowned for showcasing the tools and skills that built Savannah. The site occupies a unique place in Georgia’s history and includes notable features like the ruins of Noble Jones’ wattle and daub hut.

What can visitors expect to see at the Wormsloe site?

Visitors to the Wormsloe site can explore the Wormsloe Quartos, witness the colonial life area, and walk along trails that run along the marsh. The site also hosts events like the Faire and Muster, reflecting colonial traditions.

How far is Wormsloe from Savannah, and what is the best way to get there?

Wormsloe is a 45-minute drive from Savannah, making it an accessible day trip for those staying in the Savannah area. Visitors can enjoy the scenic drive and experience the unique southern hospitality that awaits them at the site.

Who was Georgia colonist Noble Jones, and what was his role at Wormsloe?

Georgia colonist Noble Jones was a key figure in the establishment of Wormsloe. He began building a fortified house on the land and was instrumental in the development of the area. His family, including his son George Jones, continued his legacy.

What is the historical importance of the tabby mixture used at Wormsloe?

Tabby is a mixture of concrete-like material used by Noble Jones in the construction of Wormsloe. This technique was essential for building durable structures in the colonial period and is part of what makes the ruins of Noble Jones’ home so significant.

When did the state open Wormsloe to the public, and what can visitors learn there?

The state opened Wormsloe to the public on 24 November 2004. Visitors can learn about the early history of Georgia, including the arrival of James Oglethorpe in 1733, and explore the home of Noble Jones, providing insights into the life and times of early American colonists.

Who was Elfirda de Renne Barrow in relation to Wormsloe’s history?

Elfirda de Renne Barrow is a significant historical figure related to the Wormsloe estate. Her contributions and connections to the site are part of its rich tapestry of history.


If you’re in the mood for a little history and want to see some beautiful live oaks, then Wormsloe Historic Site is definitely worth a visit.

Although it’s not the largest or most popular historic site in Savannah, it’s definitely one of the most unique, and its setting among the Spanish moss-draped trees is simply gorgeous. Also don’t forget to take a tour of the Bonaventure Cemetery.