Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

072-0002 Belnemus

Photo credit: Calder Loth/DHR, 1973

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 09/19/1978

NRHP Listing Date 04/20/1979

NRHP Reference Number 79003069

The three-part Palladian scheme used in the Federal period throughout Virginia gave to rural houses an architectural formality and sophistication that is well illustrated in Belnemus. The house was erected between 1783 and 1799 for James Clarke, a Powhatan County inventor and politician, on land purchased from Col. William Mayo. Belnemus received its present porch, siding, and rear addition around the turn of the 20th century when it was owned by the Valentine family. Adding interest to the exterior is the curious finial at the apex of the pyramidal roof. The highlight of the interior is the late Georgian hall woodwork which consists of an elegantly detailed pedimented chimneypiece and matching cupboard opposite. Both elements have full-height Doric pilasters and Doric entablatures. Several early outbuildings, including a mid-19th-century tobacco barn, remain on the grounds.

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: September 21, 2021