Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

019-0030 Staunton Hill

Staunton Hill
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 11/05/1968

NRHP Listing Date 10/01/1969

NPS property number 69000229

A striking exception to the normally conservative dwellings of Virginia’s plantation aristocracy is this castellated Gothic-style mansion that architect John E. Johnson designed for Staunton Hill, the vast estate of Charles Bruce. The design is based on a plate in an English work by Thomas Kelly: Designs for Cottage and Villa Architecture (1829). Completed in 1850, Staunton Hill’s romantic qualities are seen primarily in the crenelated parapets, polygonal corner towers, and delicate marble veranda. The dwelling stands as a significant expression of both the exoticism and the historicism that would permeate American architecture for the balance of the century. In recent years Staunton Hill was the country home of the noted diplomat David K. E. Bruce, a descendant of Charles Bruce, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Great Britain and France and as America’s first envoy to the Peoples’ Republic of China.


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

Updated March 22, 2019