Virginia November 10, 2016
A Visit To These 8 Gorgeous Old Homes In Virginia Will Take You Back In Time
Living in Virginia means the opportunity to experience centuries worth of history. One of the most fascinating ways to do so is by exploring homes that have stood the test of time. From the architecture to the intricate hallways, these homes tell tales of Virginians who’ve lived through times we can only imagine.
While many of Virginia’s historic homes are either privately owned or once housed Presidents, the following sites are open to the public for tours. So if you’d like to step back in time, a visit to these 8 gorgeous Virginian homes will allow you to do just that.
1. Carlyle House (Alexandria)
Alexandria’s Carlyle House was built by a Scottish merchant by the name of John Carlyle from 1751 to 1753. The house was built in honor of Sarah Fairfax, who at the time was part of one of the most noteworthy families in Virginia. In its past, this elaborate house represented the state’s social and political life. It’s also remarkable for its architecture, being the only Palladian-style house in the area.
2. Shirley Plantation (Charles City)
Of all of Virginia’s historic buildings, Shirley Plantation is the most authentic colonial home in the country. Since 1638, this site has been operated by the same family and is also considered the oldest family-run farm. Embarking on a guided tour will offer glimpses of the original family’s furniture, artwork, and portraits. Equally beautiful are the outdoor gardens surrounded by the James River.
3. Sutherlin Mansion (Danville)
The building that currently houses Danville’s Museum of Fine Arts and History was known as the Sutherlin Mansion, the former home of Major William T. Sutherlin. For one week in 1865, the home was opened to Jefferson Davis and his government. For this reason, Sutherlin is often referred to as the “Last Capitol of the Confederacy.”
4. Oatlands Plantation (Leesburg)
The scenic Oatlands mansion can be found along Route 15, just outside of Leesburg. The home was built in 1804 by George Carter, a member of one of Virginia’s first families. Up until the years of the Civil War, Oatlands was a prominent plantation. Since 1966, the house has been open to the public and is registered as a National Historic Landmark.
5. Agecroft Hall (Richmond)
The story behind Agecroft Hall is especially fascinating. The building itself dates back to the 15th century, when it stood as an English manor home. In 1926, the building was dismantled and shipped to Richmond where it currently resides. Those who tour the museum today can enjoy seeing armor, period furniture, musical instruments and painting which date back to the house’s beginnings. Self-guided tours through the lavish gardens surrounding the home are also available.
6. Patsy Cline Historic House (Winchester)
While many people associate the iconic country singer Patsy Cline with her time in Nashville, fewer people realized the home where she spent the most time is located in Winchester. The Patsy Cline Historic House is open to public tours and visitors can see where she lived, slept, and undoubtedly wrote some of her music. Compared to the other homes on this list, this house is modest in its size and location; however, it’s equally important in the musical heritage of Virginia.
7. Swannanoa Palace (Afton)
In 1912, this grandiose house cost two million dollars to complete. The house was a second home to Major James Dooley, who was an executive of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad. With its 52-rooms, the marble mansion was constructed in honor of his wife, Sally May. One of the most notable features of the house is the 4,000-piece Tiffany stained glass window. Swannonoa is open to visitors by appointment only.
8. Tuckahoe Plantation (Henrico County)
Most Virginians are familiar with Thomas Jefferson’s home Monticello, but fewer know of his boyhood home, Tuckahoe Plantation. Sitting just outside of Richmond, Tuckahoe was built by Thomas Randolph in 1714. The Jefferson family moved into the home when Thomas was just two years old. For seven years, the future President was tutored here. The building is noteworthy for its beautiful interior paneling and original furniture. Though the home is privately owned, tours can be arranged by appointment.
As you may have guessed, these 8 homes are just a few of the many historic houses to tour in Virginia. Which are some of your favorites? Be sure to share your experience with us!