Built for Howell Briggs (1709-1775), a militia captain, magistrate, and vestryman, Wales is one of the most architecturally distinctive plantation houses in Southside Virginia. Howell Briggs’s son Gray Briggs (ca. 1731-1807), born at Wales, served in the House of Burgesses and made Wales his home after completing his term in the assembly. The original ca. 1730 portion of the house is a simple hall/parlor dwelling. This core was expanded ca. 1752 into a five-part structure 104 feet long. The treatment of the terminal wings with half-hip roofs is unique in Virginia. The Dinwiddie County house has since undergone remarkably few changes; the exterior preserves its early weatherboarding, window sash, shutters, and doors. Inside, nearly all of the original woodwork remains including the architectural chimneypiece in the west-wing parlor. This elegant room is a demonstration of the refined taste exhibited by some of the leading families in outlying areas.
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
DHR has secured permanent legal protection for over 700 historic places - including 15,000 acres of battlefield lands
DHR has erected 2,532 highway markers in every county and city across Virginia
DHR has engaged over 450 students in 3 highway marker contests
DHR has stimulated more than $4.2 billion dollars in private investments related to historic tax credit incentives, revitalizing communities of all sizes throughout Virginia