Eyre Hall’s buildings and grounds present what is perhaps the most complete picture of gentry plantation life on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The Northampton County plantation was patented in 1662 by Thomas Eyre II. The massive gambrel-roofed house was completed ca. 1760 for Littleton Eyre who acquired the land from his father. This section was built as an addition to a ca. 1735 dwelling, now incorporated in a two-story wing. Its interior is embellished with superb woodwork consisting of paneled walls and pilaster-framed chimney breasts. A set of ca. 1816 French scenic wallpapers by Dufour, “Les Rives de Bosphore,” decorates the hall. On the grounds are original outbuildings and a family cemetery with a series of table tombs. The early formal garden is among the state’s best-preserved examples of its type. The property remains the property of Thomas Eyre’s descendants.
Eyre Hall plantation is nationally significant as the remarkably intact record of a century and a half of continuity in gentry culture, architecture, and landscape stretching from the Colonial period to the eve of the First World War—a record preserved through 250 years of family ownership. The Georgian house, expanded and improved in the Federal period, combined with surviving original hardware, furnishings, books, silver, and family portraits, tells a rich story of 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century material culture. Occupying much of its original acreage and surrounded by the marshes and watercourses that have characterized the Eastern Shore for centuries, the landscape at Eyre Hall still preserves the carefully sequenced spaces that helped visitors, guests, and enslaved individuals understand their relationships within the hierarchical antebellum plantation community.
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