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Thorn Hill

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1793, Henry Williams; 1850s. Rosefarm Hill Ln., west side of VA 251
  • (Photograph by D Hughes)
  • (Photograph by D Hughes)

John Bowyer was a schoolteacher when he settled in the area, but had become a lawyer and prominent politician when he contracted with Williams of Lexington to build his house on a conspicuous site with a panoramic view. A traditional Valley single-pile, central-passage house, it has a one-story wing on the north. The elaborate interior woodwork with paneled overmantels, wainscoting, fully paneled stair hall, and pedimented doorways makes it an important local interpretation of the Georgian style. In the 1850s a two-story Greek Doric portico was added to the front, but the original eighteenth-century porch survives on the rear. Three outbuildings, a kitchen, overseer's house, and a log smoke-house also survive from the eighteenth century.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "Thorn Hill", [Lexington, 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, 130-130.

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