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The Ellerslie estate in the city of Colonial Heights was established in 1839 by David Dunlop and his wife, Anna Mercer Minge. A native of Ayr, Scotland, Dunlop became one of the leaders of Virginia’s tobacco industry. His castellated mansion was designed in 1856 by Robert Young, a Belfast (Ireland) architect, and was surrounded by romantically landscaped grounds of unusual elaboration. The mansion was hit by Federal cannon fire during the Civil War battle of Swift Creek, May 9, 1864, and later served as Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard’s headquarters. Gen. Johnson Hagood’s South Carolina Brigade also used the Ellerslie estate as a rest camp during September 1864, following action along Weldon Railroad. Dunlop’s grandson employed the Richmond firm of Carneal and Johnston to remodel the mansion in 1910 in the more fashionable Bungaloid mode. The spreading hipped roof and dormers replaced the original flat roof, but the basic mass of the house and the tower are original.

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

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


Violet Bank Historic District

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Chesterfield Highlands Historic District

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