Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

081-0087 Liberty Hall Site

Liberty Hall Site
Photo credit: Mike Pulice/DHR, 2021

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 12/21/1976

NRHP Listing Date 08/16/1977

NRHP Reference Number 77001493

These gaunt ruins are the remains of Liberty Hall Academy, the predecessor of Washington and Lee University. In 1749 Augusta Academy, the first school of consequence west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, was founded near Greenville in Augusta County. The academy, patriotically renamed Liberty Hall Academy, was relocated twice before settling in 1792 immediately west of Lexington in Rockbridge County. Constructed in 1793, the limestone building stood three stories tall with a gable roof. An unusual treatment, found in at least three other Rockbridge County buildings, was the placement of the fireplaces in the outside corners so that chimneys projected from the four corners of the building. The academy was housed here only a short while, for the building was gutted by fire in 1803. The school, by then known as Washington Academy, relocated to a new site in the city of Lexington, where it evolved into the present university which owns and maintains the Liberty Hall Site ruins.


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Abbreviations:
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark


Updated: October 11, 2022