Trip Planner:   USA  /  Mississippi  /  Oxford  /  Rowan Oak

Rowan Oak, Oxford

#1 of 16 in Things to do in Oxford
Historic Site · Tourist Spot
Rowan Oak, also known as William Faulkner House, is William Faulkner's former home in Oxford, Mississippi. It is a primitive Greek Revival house built in the 1840s by Robert Sheegog. Faulkner purchased the house when it was in disrepair in the 1930s and did many of the renovations himself. Other renovations were done in the 1950s. One of its more famous features is the outline of Faulkner's Pulitzer Prize–winning novel A Fable, penciled in graphite and red on the plaster wall of his study.

The house sits on four landscaped acres, surrounded by 29 acres of wooded property known as Bailey's Woods. Though the "rowan oak" is a mythical tree, the grounds and surrounding woods of Rowan Oak contain hundreds of species of native Mississippi plants, most of which date back to antebellum times. The alley of cedars that lines the driveway was common in the 19th century. The studs of the house are 4"x4" square cypress, which were hand-hewn. Faulkner drew much inspiration for his treatment of multi-layered time from Rowan Oak, where past and future seemed to inhabit the present.

In 1972, his daughter, Jill Faulkner Summers, sold the house to the University of Mississippi. The University maintains the home in order to promote Faulkner's literary heritage. Tours are available. The home has been visited by such writers as John Updike, Czesław Miłosz, Charles Simic, Richard Ford, James Lee Burke, Bei Dao, Charles Wright, Charles Frazier, Alice Walker, the Coen brothers, Bobbie Ann Mason, Salman Rushdie, and others. Writer Mark Richard once repaired a faulty doorknob on the French door to Faulkner's study.

Rowan Oak was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1968.

After its most recent renovations, some of which were funded by the novelist John Grisham, a part-time Oxford resident and Ole Miss law school alumnus, Rowan Oak was rededicated on May 1, 2005.

The current curator of Rowan Oak is William Griffith. Past curators include the novelists Howard Bahr and Cynthia Shearer. The original curator was Bev Smith, an Ole Miss alum, who was responsible for finding a great deal of Faulkner's original manuscripts hidden within the home.
To visit Rowan Oak on your holiday in Oxford, and find out what else Oxford has to offer, use our Oxford.
Create an itinerary including Rowan Oak
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Rowan Oak reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
308 reviews
  • We stopped here on our route from Jackson to Tupelo. Its near the U of MS, just a mile down from the Square. We parked as instructed near the road and walked 100 yards up the cedar lined lane to the....  more »
  • Since I didn't see anything online about the house being closed for tours, we stopped by on our way through Oxford. The house is officially closed for tours, and most likely for walking the grounds...  more »
  • The home of William Faulkner, on of the greatest Mississippi writers of all time who was awarded the Nobel Prize for his literature. He was an alcoholic most of his career. The home & grounds feature the "slave"/later the help quarters, a smoke house, a barn where Faulkner housed his various horse's & the main house also known as Rowan Oak. There are no Rowan Oaks on the property.
  • Ethereal place. Perfect atmosphere for aspiring writers.

Plan your trip to Oxford

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.