Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

058-0045 Prestwould

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

See link(s) below to view additional documentation.

VLR Listing Date 11/05/1968

NRHP Listing Date 10/01/1969

NHL Listing Date 07/31/2003

DHR's Virginia Board of Historic Resources easement

NRHP Reference Number 69000260; 03001033

Sir Peyton Skipwith, the only Virginia-born baronet, moved to his Roanoke River lands following marriage to his second wife, Jean Miller, in 1788. In 1795 he completed Prestwould, his large Georgian mansion, the nucleus of a 10,000-acre plantation. Built of dressed sandstone, Sir Peyton’s house, with its French scenic wallpapers and fine furnishings, is an imposing expression of the elegant lifestyle maintained by Virginia’s gentry in the remote countryside. The formal garden, laid out by Lady Skipwith, is one of the state’s most thoroughly documented historic gardens. On the grounds is an unusually complete collection of outbuildings, including an octagonal pavilion, a rare early garden folly. A diverse group of buildings in which enslaved African Americans lived and worked survived at Prestwould into the twentieth century, and three of the buildings still stand: a 1790s slave house, an early plantation store converted to workers’ housing after the Civil War, and a circa 1825 loom house with slaves’ rooms upstairs. The late-eighteenth-century slave house is considered to be the earliest known slave house extant in Virginia and perhaps in the South. Prestwould was owned by Skipwith descendants until 1914. In 1963 the house and forty-six acres were acquired by the Prestwould Foundation, which exhibits the property to the public and is engaged in long-term restoration of the plantation’s many components.

A 2001 updated nomination led to the listing of Prestwould as a National Historic Landmark in 2003.

2001 National Historic Landmark Nomination

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

Updated: February 23, 2021