VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


Named for the German landgraviate, Hesse was the Mathews County seat of the Armisteads, a colonial family whose members, by virtue of marriage, were progenitors or relatives of nearly every leading landed family in Virginia. Archaeological investigation has revealed the foundations of the original colonial house, which burned in 1798. It was replaced soon afterwards by the present brick structure erected a few feet away. The situation of both houses was likely chosen because of the impressive view of Godfrey Bay at the mouth of the Piankatank River. The present house, with its formal, five-bay facades and paneled woodwork, illustrates the persistence of traditional Georgian forms in Virginia’s eastern counties during the Federal period. Hesse was meticulously restored in the late 1970s at which time the gambrel-roofed wings were added.

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

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


Gwynn’s Island Historic District

Mathews (County)


Mathews Downtown Historic District

Mathews (County)


Light Stations of the United States MPD

(MPD) Multiple Property Document