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Patrick Henry, the Revolutionary orator, made his home at this Hanover County plantation from 1771 to 1778, when he was active in shaping the course of events leading to American independence. Henry also was living at Scotchtown when he was elected Virginia’s first non-royal governor in 1776. The barn-like house was built ca. 1719 as the country residence of Charles Chiswell of Williamsburg. Dolley Payne, later the wife of James Madison, lived here as a child. Scotchtown is probably the largest one-story colonial house in Virginia, with eight rooms and a center passage all on one floor. The otherwise plain exterior is given visual interest by the use of a jerkinhead roof. Scotchtown was rescued from deterioration in 1958 when it was acquired by the Hanover Branch of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (now Preservation Virginia). The carefully restored Scotchtown property is now a museum.

Last Updated: February 19, 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


Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Historic District and National Cemetery

(NHLs) Virginia's National Historic Landmarks


Berkleytown Historic District

Hanover (County)


Brown Grove Rural Historic District

Hanover (County)