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Varina Plantation and Henrico Courthouse Site

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c. 1855 (viewed from the east side of the Enon Bridge)

A large, late Greek Revival plantation house, Varina sits on land settled by John Rolfe in 1610. The site, still a substantial farm of 2,000 acres, was also the location of the county's earliest courthouse. The house is a substantial fivebay, two-story, hip-roofed structure with tall chimneys and a bracketed cornice. Attached at the east end are a single-story and a two-story wing. Originally a one-story tetrastyle portico with Ionic columns faced the riverfront. This has been partially reerected on the west facade. On the land approach was a similar portico, but it also has been replaced with a porch entirely different in design. In 1864, Union general Benjamin Butler made the house his headquarters. Scars in the exterior brick prove that it was in the line of fire from river gunboats during the Civil War.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Varina Plantation and Henrico Courthouse Site", [Richmond, 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, 303-304.

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