Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

015-0220 The Grove

The Grove
Photo credit: Melissa Schmidt, 2021

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 06/17/2021

The Grove is a substantial, evolved Federal-style house formerly known as the Old Penn Home and Closeburn Manor, located in Campbell County, about nine miles southwest of Lynchburg. The house preserves late-18th- to early-19th-century construction materials and methods in both its main block and rear ell, the latter completed around 1803, as documented by period drawings of the house for a Mutual Assurance Society insurance policy. An important house in Campbell County, where few documented 18th-century dwellings survive, it features mortise-and-tenon framing with hewn timbers and rose-head nails. The Grove’s impressive Flemish-bond chimneys are distinctly late-18th century in appearance and notable for their double-shoulder form, sloped weathering, and stacks that stand away from the gables. The Grove displays fine period artisanship in its Federal-style interior finishes such as the decorative wainscoting, fireplace mantels, heart pine flooring, windows, doors, and molded trim. Between 1788 and 1815, James Richardson Penn, Esquire (1765-1823), owned the property and constructed the house, and added adjacent land until the tract encompassed 1,500 acres. The first documented reference to the property survives in an 1802 letter from Penn, wherein Penn offers to sell the property to Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson later declined the offer, but would soon begin construction of his retreat home, Poplar Forest, on his property near The Grove.


Abbreviations:
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark


Updated: June 17, 2021