Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

078-0028 Montpelier

Photo credit: Jennifer Hallock, 2009

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 01/16/1973

NRHP Listing Date 04/11/1973

NRHP Reference Number 73002052

The core of this sprawling porticoed mansion of Montpelier in Rappahannock County was built in the mid-18th century by Francis Thornton, as a residence for his son William. The Thornton family settled here ca. 1740, obtaining a grant for thousands of acres, including the F. T. (Francis Thornton) Valley. On a hill with views down the F. T. Valley, the original farmhouse was enlarged in the mid-19th century with end wings, and the whole was united by a huge unacademic colonnade crowned by a bracketed cornice. The resulting edifice makes for an arresting, if provincial, composition with a wonderful backdrop of pastoral and mountainous scenery. Montpelier was inherited by William Thornton’s son Dr. Philip Thornton, and remained in the family until 1876. Montpelier was renovated in the 1970s by James W. Fletcher, whose wife Mildred, was a descendant of Francis Thornton.

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: March 8, 2023