Spring Bank, known also as Ravenscroft and Magnolia Grove, was built in 1793 for John Stark Ravenscroft and his wife, Anne, a member of the Burwell and Carter families, Tidewater Virginia gentry. It has a five-part, or Palladian plan—the only such example in Lunenburg County—featuring a two-story central block and flanking one-story wings. It was the work of two well-known Lunenburg County craftsmen: carpenter John Inge and mason Jacob Shelor. The Spring Bank property had been part of the vast landholdings of Colonel Lewis Burwell, Anne’s father, and represents early settlement in the area by one of Virginia’s oldest and most widely connected colonial families. Armistead Burwell, Anne’s grandfather, originally patented over 3,000 acres when the county was formed in 1746, 610 of which were sold to Ravenscroft for the building of the house at Spring Bank. Ravenscroft, born in 1772 in Prince George County, attended schools in Scotland and England, and later enrolled at William and Mary, where he earned the nickname “Mad Jack.” His family had strong ties to the Anglican Church, and he would later become the first Episcopal Bishop of North Carolina, serving from 1823-30.
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