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Colonial Hill: A Journey of Healing and Renewal

By Angie Fenton 

Photos by Kathryn Harrington & Astrid 


In the heart of Henry County, Kentucky, where the Bourbon Trail weaves its intoxicating path through lush landscapes, there stands a historic gem nestled amidst verdant fields and whispering trees. This treasure, known as Colonial Hill, is not just a house; it’s a testament to the passage of time, holding within its weathered walls the echoes of bygone eras and the secrets of generations past. 


Astrid Dean, with training in both psychiatric nursing and engineering, is a woman of boundless curiosity and unwavering determination, found herself drawn to the enchanting estate with a history as captivating as the land it rests upon. 


Born in Australia, Astrid’s journey led her across continents and oceans, from the bustling corporate world of Dallas, Texas, to the serene beauty of north Idaho, until finally, fate guided her to the rolling hills of the Commonwealth, specifically New Castle. 


“It was like finding a piece of England in the heart of Kentucky,” Astrid reminisced, her voice tinged with the excitement of discovery. “The moment I laid eyes on Colonial Hill, I knew it was meant to be. It beckoned to me with its timeless charm, promising a sanctuary of serenity and a canvas for my dreams.” 


Colonial Hill, a Greek Revival style estate with its stately facade and welcoming embrace, became more than just a home to Astrid: it aided her in the creation of a sanctuary for healing and growth. As the founder of Integro Wellness Institute, Astrid envisioned a space where the mind, body, and spirit could find harmony amidst the chaos of modern life. 

“I believe in the power of holistic healing,” Astrid explained, her passion palpable. “We’ve become disconnected from ourselves, from nature, and from each other. My vision for Integro Wellness Institute is to create a haven where individuals can rediscover their inner strength and reclaim their sense of wholeness.” 


Within the walls of Colonial Hill, too, Astrid’s vision took root and blossomed into reality. The sprawling estate encompasses acres of lush gardens and meandering pathways. From the tranquil 128’ wide labyrinth (presumed to be the 3rd largest in the US), inspired by ancient traditions of meditation and reflection, to the fragrant tea garden, every corner of Colonial Hill whispers of renewal and transformation.


“There’s a magic to this place,” Astrid mused, her eyes alight with wonder. “It’s as if the land itself holds the key to unlocking our deepest truths. In the midst of life’s storms, Colonial Hill stands as a beacon of hope and resilience, reminding us that even in our darkest moments, we are capable of finding light.”


But Colonial Hill is more than just a sanctuary; it’s a living testament to the resilience of the human spirit. With its rich history dating back to the Civil War era, the estate bears witness to the trials and triumphs of generations past. From the days of General Kirby Smith, a man of honor and complexity, to the present moment, where Astrid’s own journey intersects with the tapestry of time, Colonial Hill is a story woven from threads of courage, compassion, and unwavering faith. 


“This place feels just lovely. I don’t want to leave,” Astrid opined, as she will – in the near future – relinquish the estate to a new owner once she is ready to place it on the market. “She’s grand but she doesn’t seem as grand when you’re in there. You just feel comfort there. … In the worst storms, it just feels so safe. The innermost walls are three bricks thick with horsehair plaster. The [recent] tornado that came through just kissed the house, and I had other people’s shingles in the garden.” 


Astrid, aside from her integrated therapy practice, is also a certified Tea Specialist and multistate tea grower, and will soon embark on a new adventure in Florida, combining therapy and tea, while also maintaining her therapy practice on Bardstown Road in Louisville. 


“As I prepare to embark on a new chapter, I can’t help but feel a sense of gratitude,” Astrid reflected, her gaze lingering on the sun-dappled landscape beyond the window. “Colonial Hill has been more than just a house; it’s been a partner in my journey of self-discovery and transformation. And as I bid farewell to this beloved estate, I know that its legacy will live on in the hearts of all who have been touched by its magic.”


As Astrid prepares to pass the torch to new custodians of Colonial Hill, she does so with a sense of reverence and awe for the legacy she leaves behind. For in the hallowed halls of this historic home, amidst the whispers of centuries past, Astrid has found not only a sanctuary but a reflection of her own soul’’ journey—a journey guided by intuition, fueled by passion, and illuminated by the light of possibility.


CONNECT WITH ASTRID

Integro Wellness Institute 

(888) 566-1007 


HISTORY & HIGHLIGHTS


Built circa 1830 by Daniel P. Brannin, seeking refuge from the yellow fever epidemic in New Orleans, Colonial Hill began its journey as a sanctuary of solace amidst the turmoil of the era. Over the years, its halls bore witness to the comings and goings of illustrious guests, including the esteemed presidential candidate James G. Blaine.


In 1867, the estate found itself under the stewardship of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, a figure steeped in the tumult of the Civil War. Here, he found respite and sought to impart knowledge through the halls of Western Military Academy, only to face the tragic demise of his ambitions at the hands of a cholera epidemic. Yet, his legacy endured, etched into the very fabric of Colonial Hill’s storied past.


Through the passing of hands and the ebb and flow of time, Colonial Hill remained a bastion of architectural elegance, a Greek Revival masterpiece standing tall against the currents of change. Each brick, each column, bore witness to the craftsmanship of yesteryears, a testament to the ingenuity and artistry of generations past.


  • Colonial Hill features hand-colored block wallpaper adorning the main hallway, which recently attracted the attention of a world-renowned historical institution. This wallpaper is an original scenic mural made by the Zuber wallpaper company of France. The wallpaper was imported for the house by the Ellis family. The wallpaper, entitled “Eldorado,” was designed in the late 1800s and depicts scenes from Egypt, Babylon, and Byzantine influences. This design was hand printed using over 1,500 wooden blocks, as a separate block is used for each color. The wallpaper was meticulously restored by a professional historic wallpaper conservator in 2004. 


  • Colonial Hill is Greek Revival Style. All of the bricks used to build the house were fired on the property. The four front columns are original to the home and are fluted with Ionic capitals. The door casings in the front hall are replicas of the entrance way to the Porch of Maidens of the Erechtheum, which stands on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. There are also many architectural features involving the number 13 which commemorates the thirteen original colonies.

  • 5 bedrooms, 3 1/2 bathrooms, 6,434 sq feet

  • 2 blocks from the Henry County Courthouse 

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