The diminutive proportions of this colonial plantation house, in Essex County’s Occupacia-Rappahannock Rural Historic District, may result from the fact that it was built for a woman, Sarah Taliaferro Brooke, who supervised its construction. Brooke’s Bank was completed in 1751, and the rectangular house with its formal lines, fine brickwork, and spreading hipped roof, is a fine example of Georgian architecture. An unusual note is the diamond pattern formed by glazed headers in the two massive chimneys. The highlight of the interior is the broad center-passage arch framing and original curved stair. Delicate late-Georgian trim was added to the woodwork in the principal rooms. The house was shelled by the Union gunboat Pawnee in the Civil War, but the damage was not extensive. After years of neglect, Brooke’s Bank was restored in the 1930s. A museum-quality restoration, including the replacement of the 1930s wings, took place in 1995-98.
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