Photo of the Belle Meade Plantation a Grey and white two story columed home in Belle Meade Tennessee

Belle Meade Plantation

Today we are bringing you to the Belle Meade Plantation in the city of Belle Meade, Tennessee.

How Far Is The Belle Meade Plantation From Nashville?

It is approximately 7 miles from downtown Nashville to the Belle Meade Plantation.

What Is The Belle Meade Plantation?

The Belle Meade Plantation is a historic mansion in Belle Meade, TN with an equine history whose bloodlines touch even the current horse races today. It now sits on 30 beautiful parklike acres but in the 19th century boasted a whopping 5400 acres. 
When Was Belle Meade Plantation Built?
The plantation was built in 1807.

Belle Meade Plantation

We chose a local historical site, Belle Meade Plantation. We’ve been there several times but every time I learn something new. The house and grounds are beautiful and it is a great place to bring a picnic lunch and just enjoy nature. 

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Belle Meade Plantation | Picture of a two story white house with shutters around the window and a porch above the doors | Belle Meade Plantation |


The Belle Meade Plantation History


The plantation was founded in 1807 by John Harding.

Photo of phamplet from Belle Meade Plantation | Belle Meade Plantation |

Belle Meade Plantation – Equine History

The thoroughbred horse business on the plantation began with the boarding of thoroughbreds as early as 1816, John registered his own racing silks with the Nashville Jockey Club in 1823 and began training horses on the track at his McSpadden’s Bend Farm. 
Photo of a two story antebellum home with a porch on both levels | Belle Meade Plantation |

When his son William Giles Harding took over the estate, he focused on breeding and racing the thoroughbreds however the Civil War interrupted both. After the war, the family picked up where they left off and between 1867-1868 General Harding won more races than any man living in the U.S. at the time.

photo of a beautiful barn with cupola on top | Belle Meade Plantation Barn |

In December of the year 1864, a skirmish in the Battle of Nashville was being fought in the front yard of the Belle Meade Plantation.

As you step past the bullet-riddled columns (from the American Civil War) on the front porch and through the front door you are greeted by paintings of the Belle Meade’s most famous horses. Almost all of the Kentucky Derby winners can track their roots back to Belle Meade. Such horses as Secretariat, Sea Biscuit, Barbero, and Iroquois trace their roots back to this plantation. 

Chimney of an outbuilding at the Belle Meade Plantation |
Another view of the dairy


Photo of an old saddle in the sunlight from the window giving a warm glow at the Belle Meade Plantation |

Side Saddle

Man and twin daughters on the porch of the Belle Meade Plantation | (C) Rosevine Cottage Girls |
The plantation is a wonderful place to visit for the entire family. It is a picture of a bygone era that is quickly fading on our ever-changing American landscape.
Photo of the front of the Belle Meade Plantation dairy with the opening bays out of all stone | Belle Meade Plantation (C) Rosevine Cottage Girls |
The Belle Meade Plantation Dairy 
History is so much richer for places like the Belle Meade Plantation.  It is a way to touch, taste, and breathe in history in a way to make it a part of you.  One that you will remember for a lifetime. 
Photo of the inside of the Belle Meade Plantation barn. Sunlight streaming into a cut glass window onto a rough wooden bench against a rough stone wall | (c) Rosevine Cottage Girls |
Inside The Dairy
The home tour is guided but as you complete the mansion tour you are free to walk the beautiful grounds for the rest of your experience here and tour the rest of the buildings and walk around under the massive trees that grace the grounds of the plantation. 
Small Log Cabin on Belle Meade Plantation | Belle Meade Plantation | | (c) Rosevine Cottage Girls
Slave Cabin on the Plantation

We had such an incredible experience.  Whether you love history, old buildings, or horses this place is a great place to spend an afternoon. Especially if you have an interest in the Civil War era, love racing horses or have a pack of homeschooled little ones who love field trips.

Two Log Cabins with a dog run inbetween them in a green pasture with large trees original cabins at the Belle Meade Plantation | | (c) Rosevine Cottage Girls
Harding Family Cabin before building the mansion 
They have the original Harding family’s first home on the property. It is a double pen log cabin that was built around 1807. The mansion was finished about 1820.
Antique desk in the office of Mr. Harding in the cabin of Belle Meade Plantation | (c) Rosevine Cottage Girls |
Inside the Harding Cabin

They have it beautifully furnished in the time period.

Stone and wood park bench on the grounds of Belle Meade Plantation |
Stone Bench inviting you to sit and stay awhile

There are beautiful places to stop and enjoy the view. To sit in a shady spot and listen to the birds’ sing.

Brick wall with a pattern on the side of the smokehouse at the Belle Meade Plantation |
Smoke House
The smokehouse is a beautiful brick building that towers above you with smoky hams hanging from the rafters above you. The smoky fragrance lingers in the air.
Stone stairs up to the upper gardens at the Belle Meade Plantation |
Beautiful Garden

There are beautiful gardens, rock stairs, and lovely greenways for you to explore. 

Picket fence in the garden of the Belle Meade Plantation | | (c) Rosevine Cottage Girls
Artifacts on the wall of the Belle Meade Plantation museum | | (c) Rosevine Cottage Girls
 Artifacts found on the grounds of Belle Meade

The museum has artifacts that have been found on the property for you to enjoy.

Beautiful Black metal urn and bench outside the Mausoleum of the Belle Meade Plantation | | (C) Rosevine Cottage Girls

Beautiful black metal Urns decorate the pathway to the family mausoleum.


If you are ever in the Nashville area you have to stop by and see this beautiful home and learn about its history.

Before you go, check out these other amazing places


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