The village of Brentsville was established in 1822 as a planned community for a new Prince William county seat. In 1820 the county justices determined that this site was convenient to more of the county’s population than the existing county seat at Dumfries. The town was laid off in a grid of twenty-one squares with seventy lots. Never completely filled, Brentsville all but ceased growing when the county seat was moved to Manassas in 1893. The tiny settlement today contains thirty-three historic structures and sites, including three churches, eleven houses (such as The White House), and various outbuildings. The focal point of the Brentsville Historic District is the 1822 brick courthouse, the county’s fourth. The courthouse and adjacent jail are now a county historic site. Of architectural interest is the 1847 Greek Revival Hatcher’s Memorial Baptist Church, originally an Episcopal church, constructed of local dark red sandstone. Most of the houses in the Brentsville Historic District are late-19th-century vernacular types.
The Brentsville Historic District is listed in the registers under the Civil War Properties, Prince William County Multiple Property Documentation form.
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