Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

036-0010 Burgh Westra

Burgh Westra
Photo credit: Megan Melinat/DHR, 2010

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 04/20/1976

NRHP Listing Date 10/08/1976

DHR's Virginia Board of Historic Resources easement

NRHP Reference Number 76002107

An illustration in Cottage Residences (1842), the influential architectural pattern book by architectural theorist Andrew Jackson Downing, provided the inspiration for this romantic Tudor-style cottage. The Burgh Westra dwelling was completed in 1851 for Dr. Philip Alexander Taliaferro, who owned a copy of Downing’s book.  Design III in Cottage Residences, the plate after which the house was modeled, was recommended by Downing for a site on a body of water. Taliaferro’s house conforms to the recommendation; Burgh Westra is positioned on the west bank of Gloucester County’s North River. Its name is Scottish for village of the west. The property has remained in the ownership of the builder’s family to the present. The house was gutted by fire in 1983, but the walls survived and the interior has been reconstructed. Dr. Taliaferro’s personal copy of Cottage Residences was lost in the fire.

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

Updated: January 18, 2022