Porto Bello

VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


During his short term as Virginia’s last royal governor, Lord Dunmore acquired a York River plantation six miles from Williamsburg called Porto Bello, where he maintained a country home. Here Dunmore sought refuge in 1775 when the hostility of the patriots forced him from the Governor’s Palace. Historical documents indicate that Dunmore maintained at Porto Bello two dwellings and approximately ten outbuildings and farm buildings, none of which survives above ground. A small, much-altered brick house, probably built ca. 1800 for the Bright family, is all that is visible. The site of Dunmore’s complex could be of considerable archaeological interest. At the beginning of World War II, the property was acquired by the federal government as a Seabee base. Porto Bello is now a high-security training facility inaccessible to the public.

Last Updated: April 29, 2024

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

For additional information Read

Nomination Form


Oak Grove Baptist Church Historic District

York (County)


Colonial National Historical Park

James City (County)


Colonial National Historical Park — Colonial Parkway

James City (County)