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Wolstenholme Towne was a fortified settlement in the Virginia Colony begun with a population of about 40 settlers of the Virginia Company of London which was located about 7 miles downstream from Jamestown. Named for Sir John Wolstenholme, one of the investors, it was established about 1618 on a plantation named Martin's Hundred. Housing in Wolstenholme Towne consisted of rough cabins of wattle and daub woven on wooden posts thrust into the clay subsoil.
On March 22, 1622, the Native American Powhatans rose to kill as many English settlers as could be surprised in their homes and fields. From the fall line of the James River to Hampton Roads, they burned and looted settlements, killing an estimated 400 colonists.
Martin's Hundred, the plantation hardest hit, lost more than 50, perhaps as many as 70. Wolstenholme Towne's death toll was not separated in the death rolls. About 30 miles upriver on the south bank of the James, Sir Thomas Dale's new "citie" (sic) of Henricus was also wiped out in what has come to be called the Indian Massacre of 1622.
In the 20th century, separate groups of archaeologists uncovered the sites of both Wolstenholme Towne and Henricus. The former is located on the grounds of Carter's Grove plantation in the Grove Community of southeastern James City County. The findings were chronicled by author and historian Ivor Noel Hume.
In December 2007, Carter's Grove was acquired from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation by CNET founder Halsey Minor for $15.3 million. Minor planned to use the mansion as a private residence and use the site as a center for a thoroughbred horse-breeding program. However, Minor made no changes or repairs to Carter's Grove, and stopped making payments in 2010, announcing he owed $12 million in debts. His Carter's Grove LLC went into bankruptcy and a federal judge turned the property over to a trustee to run.
The property was assessed by trustees in October 2011 to determine the actual extent of damage present. Repairs have been made to the HVAC system, which has stabilized the temperature within the building and eliminated the damaging mold previously noted. Repairs to the structure are ongoing at this time, with the goal of returning Carter's Grove to the condition it was in when it was sold to Minor.