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On the edge of a cliff near Casanova in Fauquier County, the rugged country house known as Melrose is an important expression of the castellated mode of the mid-19th-century Gothic Revival. Constructed between 1857 and 1860, the house was designed by Edmund George Lind who was born and trained in England. Lind established his practice in Baltimore in 1856. Melrose was commissioned by Dr. James H. Murray of Maryland for a large farm purchased in 1856. He named it for Melrose Abbey in Scotland which he claimed as an ancestral home. With its battlemented stone walls, central tower, and dramatic siting, Melrose illustrates the impact on southern landed families of the 19th-century romantic movement, especially the medievalism popularized by the novels of Sir Walter Scott. Melrose Castle was occupied by Federal troops in 1862 during the Civil War battle of Auburn. In the 20th century, it served as the inspiration for Mary Roberts Rinehart’s mystery The Circular Staircase.

Last Updated: March 25, 2024

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

For additional information Read

Nomination Form


Warrenton Historic District (Boundary Increase 2024)

Fauquier (County)


Silver Hill Baptist Church and School

Fauquier (County)


African American Resources in Fauquier County, Virginia, 1865–1973

(MPD) Multiple Property Document