For more than 100 years, Wilton was home to the Randolphs, one of the wealthiest and most influential families in colonial Virginia. Built c. 1753 for William Randolph III and Anne Harrison Randolph, Wilton was the centerpiece of a 2,000-acre tobacco plantation. Wilton was also home to generations of mostly unknown enslaved workers; at one point the largest enslaved population in Henrico County.

At Wilton, the Randolph family entertained some of colonial Virginia’s most elite social and political figures. Wilton hosted George Washington shortly after Patrick Henry delivered his famous ultimatum, “Give me Liberty, or Give me Death!” during the Second Virginia Convention in 1775. In 1781, then-Governor Thomas Jefferson visited the Marquis de Lafayette who was headquartered at Wilton, while 2,000 Continental and Virginia militia troops made the surrounding area their camp.

After passing through successive generations of the Randolph family between 1753 and 1859, Wilton was sold to Colonel William C. Knight to pay off mounting family debt.  Wilton went on to survive the Civil War and change owners another 4 times before going into foreclosure during the Great Depression.

In 1932, The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Virginia (NSCDA-VA) took action to rescue this storied Virginian home from ruin. Raising money without the assistance of outside funding, the Dames purchased Wilton to protect its legacy. Due to new zoning provisions, this included dismantling the house, purchasing a new lot 14 miles up the James River, and rebuilding Wilton on these grounds where it now stands, beautifully restored.

Open to the public, Wilton exhibits furnishings, textiles, glass, ceramics, silver, and archaeology reflecting the lives of the Randolphs and their enslaved workers from the mid-18th to the early 19th century. Today, Wilton continues to serve as an example of Georgian architecture, headquarters to the Virginia Dames, and host to public programs and educational exhibits.