Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

030-0864 Morven

Photo credit: Cheryl Shepherd, 2000

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 03/14/2001

NRHP Listing Date 05/30/2002

NRHP Reference Number 02000597

Morven, a 50-acre property, lies in northwestern Fauquier County, in the Leeds Manor Rural Historic District. Between 1820 and 1844, Thomas Marshall Ambler, nephew of Chief Justice John Marshall, and his wife Lucy built a series of three one- and two-story, gable-roofed dwellings at Morven that were constructed at right angles to each other and adjoined a earlier-built log dwelling on the property. These additions, two of frame construction and one of stone, created a cross plan with an open courtyard in the center. Unique to the area and perhaps in the state for its layout, the complex was altered in 1954 when property owner James Green hired former Colonial Williamsburg architect Washington Reed to design a two-story, three-room addition that filled in the central courtyard. Although compromised, the original configuration of four distinct houses is still evident. Morven also contains two original stone outbuildings—a summer kitchen and smokehouse—as well as a beehive oven.

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

Updated: April 13, 2021