At the time of its Register listing, Roanoke Plantation in Charlotte County encompassed a small portion of the land patented during the 1730s by Richard Randolph of Curles. This was substantially the same tract of land, once known as the Middle Quarter of Roanoke Plantation, where his grandson, John Randolph, had his residence. Historically encompassing over 8,200 acres, the plantation complex included a handful of outbuildings and two small frame houses that together formed the primary dwelling. A contemporary observer found Randolph’s “whole establishment so unique that it is worth going a hundred miles to see; so much simplicity combined with so much elegance.” The elegance was provided by an outstanding library of perhaps a thousand volumes, a formal dining service, portraits, and engravings. The historic domestic complex at Roanoke Plantation was recorded in several detailed descriptions, a floor plan, and an engraving of the two frame cottages which were known respectively as the “summer house” and the “winter house.” One of these was destroyed by fire in 1879. The remaining cottage is an extremely simple one-story three-bay building with exterior-end brick chimneys, a steep gable roof and an engaged shed-roof porch. John Randolph had a long political career that included multiple terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, although his opposition to the War of 1812 cost him re-election. He also served as a delegate to Virginia’s Constitutional Convention in 1829-1830.
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