Built ca. 1839 by the Sydnor family, Oakley Hill’s residence is representative of the numerous simple wood-frame houses that served the masters of the many small post-colonial plantations in the counties around Richmond. Most of these dwellings were situated inland, near creeks and springs, and contrasted in their simplicity with the mansions along the tidal rivers. Typically, Oakley Hill has little architectural pretension but achieves dignity by its placement at the end of a long, cedar-lined avenue. It was expanded just before the Civil War when a full second story was added. The conservative character illustrates the persistence of vernacular patterns, particularly the I-house form, in rural Virginia. On the grounds is a rare two-unit servants’ house and an early smokehouse. The Hanover County property was spared the Civil War action that decimated much of this rural neighborhood.
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