Wirtland was erected in 1850 for Dr. William Wirt, Jr., one of the sons of the Virginia jurist, statesman, and author. With its romantically landscaped park and fanciful Gothic Revival mansion, the estate conforms to the mid-19th century ideal of an American villa as defined by Andrew Jackson Downing. For Downing, a villa was “the most refined home of America,” where “amid the serenity and peace of sylvan scenes . . . the artistic knowledge and feeling has full play.” Downing recommended various historic styles for villas but was partial to Gothic. Although such a sophisticated house was normally custom-designed, no architect has been associated with it. More likely the design was based on published illustrations. After Dr. Wirt’s death in 1898, Wirtland housed a female academy. The Westmoreland County property is now part of the Ingleside Plantation, Inc. nursery and winery, with the house and its grounds a private residence.
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