Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

310-0024 Tappahannock Historic District

Tappahannock Historic District
Photo credit: Calder Loth, 2022

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 08/15/1972

NRHP Listing Date 04/02/1973

NRHP Reference Number 73002009

Tappahannock began as a village known as Hobb’s Hole in the mid-17th century. The core of this Essex County seat and Rappahannock River port preserves an important assemblage of 18th- and 19th-century architecture. Its focal point is the 1848 Roman Revival courthouse. Adjacent is the 1728 courthouse, partially burned by the British in 1814 and since remodeled as a Methodist church. The 18th-century debtors’ prison and ca. 1808 clerk’s office stand nearby. Important houses in the Tappahannock Historic District include the mid-18th-century Ritchie house on Prince Street, the late 18th-century Brockenborough house on Water Street, now part of St. Margaret’s School, and the 1850 Roane-Wright house on Duke Street. These houses respectively were the residences of three cousins, editor Thomas Ritchie, banker John Brockenborough, and Spencer Roane, members of a political circle known as the Essex Junto or Richmond Junto, who helped the Jeffersonian Democratic-Republican party maintain its national dominance.

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

Updated: April 26, 2022