The Loudoun County estate of Woodburn contains an impressive Federal-style farmhouse and an important collection of ancillary structures illustrating the evolution of a Northern Virginia farm over several decades. The property was patented in the mid-18th century by George Nixson, who put up the oldest buildings, including the log “patent” house—a dwelling required for the receipt of a land grant. Nixson also built the stone and frame gristmill in 1777, and the stone miller’s house in 1787. Nixson’s son George, or possibly his grandson, began the main house around 1820. The unusually large scale of the house, with its extensive rear wing, earned it the name “Dr. Nixson’s Folly.” Contemporary with the house is the springhouse and an impressive fine brick barn, complete with an arcaded ground level and brick lattice vents. A 20th century owner of Woodburn was the ballet dancer Rudolph Nureyev.
In 2008, an amendment to the 1976 nomination was drafted to document the Farm Manager’s House on the Woodburn estate. The update to the nomination also clarified the period of significance for the 240-acre Woodburn property, which begins ca 1750 and runs through 1909, when the Farm Manager’s House was constructed.
[VLR Approved: 3/10/2008; NRHP Approved: 4/23/2008]
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