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c. 1780. c. 1790, c. 1850, additions and renovations. VA 231 (south from Sperryville 4.5 miles, east side of road near VA 618)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Virginia Department of Historic Resources)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)

An eye-catching composition of provincial grandeur, this house (not to be confused with the identically named home of James Madison; PI16) crowns the top of a hill with views in all directions. The core of the house dates from c. 1780, when Francis Thornton built the structure for his son William (unrelated to the physician-architect). The front facade has a Palladian window. In the mid-nineteenth century end wings were added, and the whole was united at the rear by a huge Tuscan colonnade raised on a basement and crowned by an Italianate cornice and pediment. Aggressively unacademic, it dominates the surroundings.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Montpelier", [Sperryville, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 122-122.

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