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Staunton Hill

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1847–1850, John Evans Johnson; c. 1940 alterations, William Adams Delano for Delano and Aldrich. Staunton Hill Rd., 1.4 miles southwest of VA 693 (Not visible from the road)

Staunton Hill is one of the nation's most important Gothic Revival houses. The castellated house reigns over Staunton River lowlands, whose tobacco crops enabled Charles Bruce to afford a house built by artisans from Philadelphia. At Bruce's request, Johnson, who had designed Berry Hill (HX22) a few years earlier for Charles's half brother, based the design for Staunton Hill on Plate XCVII in Samuel H. Brooks's Designs for Cottage and Villa Architecture (1839). The stuccoed brick house is carefully balanced with a three-story central pavilion flanked by two-story wings. The wide one-story entrance veranda of marble with its delicate clustered columns further sets off the house's center. Crenellations, octagonal turrets, arched and traceried windows, and clustered chimney stacks contribute to the Gothic effect.

In the garden, an informal, picturesque Gothic Revival cottage acts as a foil to the formal massing of the house and a nod to the romantic settings popularized by A. J. Downing. In the twentieth century, Staunton Hill was the country home of David K. E. Bruce, who commissioned well-known New York City architect Delano to remodel some of the interiors.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "Staunton Hill", [Brookneal, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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