The L-shaped plantation seat that is the Bowling Eldridge House is characteristic of the housing favored by the majority of the region’s gentry in the early 19th century. Though it lacks the stylish frills of an architect-designed dwelling, the building has an inherent sophistication coming from the use of an established architectural vocabulary of forms and proportions. The front of the Bowling Eldridge House was originally accented by a two-tier portico. The interior is highlighted by reeded woodwork, intricately carved stair brackets, and areas of original graining. The house was built ca. 1822 by Bowling Eldridge, a tobacco planter and mill owner. At its peak the plantation included nearly a thousand acres, sustained by some seventy enslaved persons. The Eldridge family sold the place in 1869 after which the house suffered neglect during a century-long period of absentee landowners.
The Bowling Eldridge House was relocated from Halifax to Bedford County in 2000. The house now sits atop a grassy knoll and overlooks the James River Valley across Route 794 in Bedford County near Lynchburg, much as it overlooked the Birch Creek Valley in Halifax County when it was also called “Ridgecrest.”
[2000 move documentation approved: NRHP 5/23/2003]
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark