The Ditchley tract was patented in 1651 by Richard Lee, progenitor of the Lee family of Virginia. The present mansion, begun ca. 1762 by Kendall Lee, a great-grandson of Richard Lee, is classic colonial Georgian architecture. The house has the handsome brickwork, hipped roof, and geometric proportions characteristic of Virginia’s finest plantations houses. The interior preserves much original woodwork, including a noteworthy Georgian stair. In 1792 the Lee family sold Ditchley to James Ball, kinsman of Mary Ball Washington, mother of George Washington. The property remained in the Ball family throughout the 19th century. In 1932 Ditchley was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Alfred I. du Pont of Wilmington, Del. Mrs. du Pont, the former Jessie Dew Ball (1884-1970), was related to the Balls of Ditchley. Following her husband’s death, Mrs. du Pont became one of America’s most generous philanthropists, personally making grants to several hundred institutions.
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