Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

096-0029 Wirtland

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 12/21/1976

NRHP Listing Date 03/15/1979

NRHP Reference Number 79003097

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 property is now part of the Ingleside Plantation, Inc. nursery and winery, with the house and its grounds a private residence.

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

Updated: October 8, 2020