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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

030-0070 Melrose Castle

Melrose Castle
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 09/15/1981

NRHP Listing Date 02/10/1983

NPS property number 83003281

On the edge of a cliff, this rugged country house 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 was occupied by Federal troops in 1862. More recently it served as the inspiration for Mary Roberts Rinehart’s mystery The Circular Staircase.


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

Updated April 4, 2018