With its Greek Doric courthouse, Confederate monument, clerk’s office, and jail, Brunswick County’s court square has the essential ingredients of a 19th-century Virginia county seat. The tree-shaded grouping serves as the focus of town and county activity. Lawrenceville was established as the county seat in 1814. By 1853, a new courthouse was required, and a contract was let to E. R. Trumbull and Robert Kirkland to provide a building based on the courthouse in adjacent Mecklenburg County. Like its model, the new building was temple form, but instead of a hexastyle Roman Ionic portico, Trumbull and Kirkland gave their structure a tetrastyle portico in the Greek Doric order, thus creating one of southside Virginia’s few Greek Revival court structures. The one-story clerk’s office was designed by M. J. Dimmock of Richmond and was built in 1893.
An update to the Brunswick County Courthouse Square nomination was accepted into the National Register in 2010. The pairing of the 1854 courthouse (pictured above) and the 1893 clerk’s office provides a glimpse into the early growth of the courthouse square as a focus of governmental and public life, while later additions such as the 1911 Confederate memorial and 1941 library demonstrate the continuing evolution of a functioning courthouse square into the modern era. While non-contributing, the 1998 courthouse building does not detract from the architectural integrity of earlier buildings thanks to its positioning, use of architectural elements reminiscent of the historic buildings on the square, and unity of landscaping.
[VLR Accepted: 12/17/2009; NRHP Accepted: 3/10/2010]
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