Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

021-5025 Chapel Rural Historic District

Chapel Rural Historic District
Photo credit: Maral Kalbian, 2012

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 12/12/2013

NRHP Listing Date 02/14/2014

NRHP Reference Number 14000010

Covering approximately 11,500 acres of countryside in central Clarke County, the Chapel Rural Historic District contains well-preserved residences and affiliated buildings such as smokehouses, springhouses, garages, sheds, and summer kitchens, alongside commercial and institutional ones. This varied collection of buildings date from the mid-18th-century to the mid-20th-century and demonstrate a variety of uses and styles—from plantation houses to modest vernacular dwellings—over a period of more than 200 years. The Chapel Rural Historic District, representative of one of the richest farming regions in Virginia, features the Old Chapel—likely the oldest Episcopal church west of the Blue Ridge—and other Episcopal churches, as well as an early-19th-century Baptist church, several late-19th-century African-American churches, and a rare surviving slave chapel. The district also has at least five small historic African American communities—the hamlets of Browntown, Pigeon Hill, Pyletown, Claytonville, and a part of Millwood.

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

Updated: May 11, 2021