Mount Athos

VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


This stone ruin atop a wooded ridge overlooking the James River is of a plantation house built ca. 1800 for William J. Lewis. Its elevated site, one-story plan, classical portico, and polygonal projections have led to the speculation that its design was influenced by Thomas Jefferson, who showed partiality to all these elements in his own works. Lewis family tradition holds that Lewis and Jefferson were friends and that Jefferson advised on the house. Mount Athos was gutted by fire in 1876. The Lynchburg Daily Virginian noted the many valuable paintings and fine library it had contained and commented: “It is sad to see an ancient abode of so much refinement, elegance, and hospitality swept away.” Archaeological investigation of the ruins and their immediate surroundings could provide additional information on this enigmatic structure in Campbell County.

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

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

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