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Ashland: The Henry Clay Estate

120 Sycamore Road, Lexington, Kentucky

Ashland: The Henry Clay Estate is the former residence of the famed US politician, who served as a speaker of the House and a secretary of state. A National Historic Landmark, the 17-acre (7-hectare) estate has been meticulously restored, and comprises an 18-room Federate-style mansion, six outbuildings, and expansive gardens and grounds.

The highlight of a visit to Ashland is the guided tour. Docents share the life and legacy of Henry Clay as they lead you around the mansion, furnished with Clay family artifacts from several generations. Afterward, take a stroll around the garden, and explore the Henry Clay exhibit room, the Civil War Memorial, and the outbuildings. Alternatively, sign up for the seasonal Women’s Voices tour, which focuses on the contributions of the women of Ashland—check the estate’s website for more information.

To save time at the entrance, purchase your ticket online in advance.

  • Ashland is a must for travelers interested in architecture or Civil War history.

  • Self-guided tours of the gardens and grounds are free.

  • The first floor of the house is wheelchair-accessible.

  • There’s a café and shop on-site.

Ashland is located about 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) southeast of downtown Lexington. The best way to get there is by car, and parking is free. Take New Circle Road (KY 4) to Richmond Road and look for the Ashland signs.

Docent-led tours are offered hourly: 10am to 4pm from Tuesday through Saturday (March through December), and 1pm to 4pm on Sunday (April through November). The house is closed in January; in February, the house is open to groups of 10 or more only. The grounds are open year-round.

Besides Ashland, check out some of Lexington’s other sites. You’ll find the Mary Todd Lincoln House, replete with personal items from the Todd and Lincoln families, as well as the Hunt-Morgan House, former home of General John Hunt Morgan and birthplace of Nobel laureate Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan. Or, visit the Waveland State Historic Site, former home of the Joseph Bryan family, which followed Daniel Boone through the Cumberland Gap.


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