Lexington, KY

Visit Kentucky History: Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate

JC Phelps

If you're a history buff and haven't visited Ashland: The Henry Clay Estate -- you are missing out! Nestled in the heart of Lexington, Ashland is full of stories significant to the Commonwealth. Visit once and you'll see for yourself as to why it is so special!

JC Phelps of JCP Eats and the Unabashedly Southern Blog

Visit Kentucky History: Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate

About Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate

Henry Clay purchased land for his young family in 1804. The goal? A farm that would provide more land and space than their current townhome on Mill Street. Located then on the outskirts of town, Ashland perfectly fit the bill. In 1809, the center block of their new estate was complete. By 1811, Clay wanted more room for his family and received plans to add wings to Ashland from Benjamin Latrobe, architect of the U.S. Capitol. Within a year from receiving the Latrobe plans, the home was an immense five-part Federal structure. The estate including a center block, two hyphens (connecting pieces), and two end blocks.

Clay and Lucretia Hart, his wife, lived at Ashland until his death in 1852.

JC Phelps of JCP Eats and the Unabashedly Southern Blog

The Naming of Ashland

Henry Clay originally called the farm Ashland, as there is an abundance of ash trees on the property. The endearing name still lives on today in the full name: Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate.

Signature Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate Tour

Tuesday-Friday at 10:00, 11:30, 2:30, 4:00
Saturday at 10:00, 11:30, 2:30, and 4:00
Sunday at 1:00, 2:30, and 4:00

Tour Price

  • $25 for adults
  • $15 for students (age 6 - college)
  • Children 5 years old or under are free
JC Phelps of JCP Eats and the Unabashedly Southern Blog

About Henry Clay

The Henry Clay Memorial Foundation notes these as Clay's top ten accomplishments:

  1. Henry Clay was “The Great Compromiser.” As a statesman for the Union, his skills of negotiation and compromise proved invaluable in helping to hold the country together. As a result, the Civil War was averted until it could not be avoided and the nation could survive it.
  2. Henry Clay actively encouraged United States participation in the War of 1812. However, he later served as a member of the treaty delegation that negotiated the Treaty of Ghent, playing an important role in helping to end the war and protect American interests. As a result, the United States emerged as a nation of importance and influence in the world.
  3. Henry Clay changed the role of Speaker of the House and made it the powerful position it is today.
  4. Henry Clay’s support of the emerging South American republics played a significant role in helping a number of them survive the process of becoming independent nations.
  5. Henry Clay argued many times before the U.S. Supreme Court. In so doing, he introduced the concept of the Amicus Brief to Supreme Court jurisprudence.
  6. As an attorney, Henry Clay was one of the most successful of his era. He won far more cases than he lost, becoming prominent enough to represent the likes of Aaron Burr and Cassius Clay.
  7. As a farmer, Henry Clay became one of the most respected breeders and scientific farmers in the country. He introduced Hereford Cattle to the United States and became one of the most successful providers of mules to the South.
  8. As a horseman and lover of racing, Henry Clay played a major role in Lexington, Kentucky becoming “The Horse Capital of the World.”
  9. Henry Clay influenced a great many future political leaders with his ideology and style. Abraham Lincoln said of Clay that he was “my beau ideal of a statesman” and adopted much of his political ideology himself.
  10. Henry Clay gave his country nearly half a century of service as a Representative, Senator, and Secretary of State.

About The Henry Clay Memorial Foundation

The Henry Clay Memorial Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit which owns and operates Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate. The Foundation's mission is to promote the legacy of Henry Clay, to share his continued relevance locally and nationally as a great statesman, and to preserve his beloved "Ashland". All of this is in honor and as a testament for his immense love of Kentucky and his country.

JC Phelps of JCP Eats and the Unabashedly Southern Blog

Visit Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate

120 Sycamore Rd, Lexington, KY 40502


Phone: (859) 266-8581
Email: info@henryclay.org

Have you ever visited Ashland?

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JC Phelps is a Kentucky-based food + southern lifestyle writer.

Louisville, KY

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