Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

300-0002 Old Isle of Wight Courthouse

Old Isle of Wight Courthouse
Photo credit: Joanna Wilson Green/DHR, 2018

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 06/02/1970

NRHP Listing Date 09/15/1970

DHR's Virginia Board of Historic Resources easement

NRHP Reference Number 70000802

The former Isle of Wight courthouse is one of Virginia’s six remaining arcaded colonial court structures. It was completed, along with the clerk’s office and jail, in 1752, following the relocation of the county seat from Glebe Farm to Smithfield. Built by William Rand, it is notable among its contemporaries for having a curved apse with conical roof, following the precedent of the curved apses on the first Capitol in Williamsburg. The courthouse was converted to a residence after the subsequent transfer of the county seat from Smithfield in 1802. Its arcade was blocked up and its roof changed from a hip to a gable. In 1938 the building was acquired by the Isle of Wight Branch of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (now Preservation Virginia) which restored its mid-18th-century appearance in 1959-62; it was then repurposed for use as a visitors’ center.

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

Updated: February 8, 2022