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Hampden-Sydney College

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1776 established. 1 College Rd.
  • Cushing Hall
  • Venable Hall

One of the most venerable-looking collegiate landscapes in the rural South, Hampden-Sydney College was established by Presbyterians in 1776. Its Scots-Irish founders named it for John Hampden and Algernon Sydney, two seventeenth-century advocates of civil and religious freedom. Union Theological Seminary, a Presbyterian institute associated with the college, faced the campus from an adjoining hillside until the seminary moved to Richmond in 1898. The earliest surviving of the remarkable group of early-nineteenth-century buildings from Hampden-Sydney and the seminary are Cushing and Venable halls (primarily dormitories), five smaller edifices that began as houses, and a chapel designed by Robert L. Dabney. They have been joined by several later buildings, many of them Colonial Revival. Two principal streets cut through the green hillsides of the twelve-hundred-acre campus—College Road, running north to south, and Via Sacra, running west to east.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "Hampden-Sydney College", [Farmville, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Virginia vol 2

Buildings of Virginia: Valley, Piedmont, Southside, and Southwest, Anne Carter Lee and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 272-272.

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