Encompassing roughly forty square miles of Piedmont countryside, the Madison-Barbour Rural Historic District in Orange County is one of Virginia’s best-preserved cultural landscapes. The rolling, semi mountainous terrain is broken periodically by broad stretches of fields and pastureland. A web of 18th- and 19th-century roadways offers expansive views of unspoiled pastoral scenery. For more than two and a half centuries the area’s gentry have exhibited their wealth by erecting some of the state’s most impressive country houses. Sprinkled through the region are several 19th-century hamlets including Tibbstown, Barboursville, and Somerset. The district’s name refers to the area’s two most prominent landowning families, the Madisons and the Barbours, who were responsible for its two nationally significant plantation complexes—Montpelier and Barboursville. The Madison-Barbour Rural Historic District also contains more than 200 contributing dwellings in various national styles and vernacular forms reflecting a broad socio-economic spectrum.
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