Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

073-0058 Hampden-Sydney College Historic District

Hampden-Sydney College Historic District
Photo credit: Kiernan Ziletti, 2018

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

See link(s) below to view additional documentation.

VLR Listing Date 12/02/1969

NRHP Listing Date 02/26/1970

NRHP Reference Number 70000822; AD70000822

Named for John Hampden and Algernon Sydney, 17th-century champions of English liberty, this prestigious rural Presbyterian college has operated continuously since 1776. The campus in Prince Edward County is distinguished by an important collection of collegiate structures dating from the first half of the 19th century. The earliest is Cushing Hall, a four-story dormitory begun in 1822. Aligned with it across a vale are buildings erected by designer-contractor Dabney Cosby, Sr. to serve Union Theological Seminary, an associated institution (later moved to Richmond). These include two brick residences: Penshurst (1830) and Middlecourt (1829), and between them, Venable Hall (1824-1831), a large brick structure with a central pavilion and cupola. Inside Venable is a two-story chapel. A primary landmark is the Greek Revival College Church, built ca. 1860 to the design of the preacher-architect Robert Lewis Dabney, who used Italianate motifs for Westmerton (1856), his own residence here.

A 2019 update to the Hampden-Sydney Historic District nomination provided additional documentation and evaluation to better manage the treatment and interpretation of the historic district and the individual resources that comprise it, building upon information included in the original 1970 district nomination.
[NRHP Accepted: 4/23/2019]

2019 Additional Documentation

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: January 7, 2022