Connect with us

Hills & Heights

Must-See RVA! — Archibald Freeland House

A look into the history of Richmond places that are still part of our landscape.

Avatar

Published

on

March 2020
  • 1015 Bainbridge Street
    Built, circa 1770

A grand Colonial house in the heart of Old Manchester, and one of the oldest in the city.

(The Valentine) — John Murchie, a founding father of Manchester — oil on canvas, John Durand — 1780s

(The Valentine) — John Murchie, a founding father of Manchester — oil on canvas, John Durand — 1780s

Whether this handsome house was built by Archibald Freeland or before he owned the property, it is thus far impossible to say. We know that he bought the lot, then numbered 133, from John Murchie in or before 1805, but the deed was in the records of the Richmond District Court, which were burned in the Evacuation Fire. That the house was by no means new in 1805 is evident from the first insurance policy, taken out by Freeland in that year. The four buildings-house, kitchen, stable, and smokehouse—are valued at $8900, a depreciation of $500 being allowed, which would suggest that they were at least five years old.

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1886) — Plate 33 — showing property in 1886, including a Shanty, an Old Shanty, and Well

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1886) — Plate 33 — showing property in 1886, including a Shanty, an Old Shanty, and Well

Archibald Freeland, ancestor of many Virginians of today, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1757. Emigrating to Virginia about 1780, he owned tobacco warehouses at Warwick, one of which was burned by Benedict Arnold. He was in the tobacco exporting business and also invested heavily in lands both in Chesterfield County and in Kentucky. His affairs became involved, and in 1819 he mortgaged his house to his son-in-law, James Scott, of whom we shall hear again in connection with the house he built long afterwards on Fifth Street. Meanwhile Scott lived in the Freeland or Murchie house.

(Elks History Project) — 1907 postcard for the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks

(Elks History Project) — 1907 postcard for the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks

In 1853 he sold it to the trustee for Mrs. S. S. Walke. It was owned by the Walkes down to 1889. In 1907 it was purchased by Manchester Lodge Number 843 of the B. P. O. E. and was an Elks’ Club for nearly thirty years. In 1938 its present owner acquired for $3100 the only mansion still standing in Richmond on the south side of the James River.

March 2020

March 2020

An exterior view of this house is deceptive, since it has been spoiled by the long veranda and by the large panes of glass in the windows. The outbuildings are all gone; so is the balustrade around the top. Its location on an eminence and the proportions are all that suggest how handsome it could easily be made.

March 2020 — showing curious keystones

March 2020 — showing curious keystones

The windows on the Eleventh Street side have curious keystones, made of bricks set in relief and not covered with plaster. Inside, one is much more immediately impressed. The staircase is a very unusual one, with a low-swung curve quite different from the long curve of the Wickham house stair, but no less beautiful, though the balusters and newel post seem to have been changed in Victorian times. The small room to the right of the door seems an afterthought also.

(Google Arts & Culture) — Archibald Freeland House, between 1910 - 1930 — Cook Photograph Collection, The Valentine

(Google Arts & Culture) — Archibald Freeland House, between 1910 – 1930 — Cook Photograph Collection, The Valentine

The most magnificent feature is the paneling in the rooms to the left of the entrance, which extends across that end of the building and can be compared only with that of the Marshall house. The back room originally extended all the way across the back of the house. A graceful arch between the two halves has recently been filled in. All the doors, practically, are of the six-panel “witches’ door” type. The mantels are varied and interesting, three having a curious pattern that looks like the “shelf-paper” formerly used for kitchens and pantries. In spite of some alterations necessary to make it into a two-family dwelling, the interior on the whole is well preserved and in fairly good condition. [HOR]

March 2020 — showing veranda detail

March 2020 — showing veranda detail

Today the house still sits on the same sun-drenched corner, right next to the old Baptist church. It’s looking a little old in spots, but so would you if you were 250 years old.

Architecture Richmond has a nice write-up on this house with additional history and pictures. Not to be missed!

(Archibald Freeland House is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


Print Sources

  • [HOR] Houses of Old Richmond. Mary Wingfield Scott. 1941.

rocket_werks_must_see

Must-See RVA! is a regular series
appearing on rocket werks – check it out!

Comments

comments

Combining protean forces from the forbidden Zero Serum with the unbridled power of atomic fusion, to better probe the Wisdom of the Ancients and their Forgotten Culture.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Community

Hurry in a Curry to be First Friday Food Truck at Westover Place

Planning your weekly dinner menus just got another option.

Avatar

Published

on

The folks at Westover Place, the strip of stores between The Forest and 48 Hours, will be hosting a rotating food truck every Friday. It will be a single truck and this week is one of my favorites.

Curry in a Hurry will be parked in front of the former “Stories” location (5065 Forest Hill Ave) on Friday (4/3) from 4 – 7 PM. If you’re looking for a little variety or an excuse to take a walk on Friday now you’ve got a good reason. The menu might be a little different for Friday but this is the standard menu.

Never had Curry in a Hurry? This is what owner Barry Hodge has to say about his offerings.

Well, here we are, this is my passion – curry, not just any curry, but British Indian curry. I have been eating this food since I was 5, I have been making this delightful food since I was 15 and now feel it’s time to share the delights of British Indian Curry with the good people of Richmond.

Over the past 60 years it has become the #1 take-away food in England and is now regarded as the “national dish”. Ask anyone you may know who comes from England what they most miss apart from the pubs, they may well tell you it’s the curry. What makes this style of curry any different from any other curry?  Its hard to say, but much has to do with the fresh ingredients, the exotic spices, the aromatic flavors and of course (if desired), the mouth tingling taste!

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Community

Westover Hills Elementary Teachers and Staff to “Parade” Through the Neighborhood

Don’t call the cops this parade will be from the safe distance of their autos and there will be no direct contact with any students.

Avatar

Published

on

Friday don’t be surprised if you see a long line of cars snaking through your neighborhood. It’s just local teachers and staff saying goodbye for now to their students.

From Westover Hills Elementary:

Teachers and staff are going to PARADE all through our school’s zone tomorrow morning to say “Hi” and “Goodbye” 😢 to students at their homes from the responsible distance of their cars. They expect to be in our neighborhoods from about 9:20-11:00 AM. If you are home (like you should be!), step out on the porch and give a wave and a “thank you” (and don’t freak out if you see a whole bunch of cars driving slowly through the neighborhood in a long line)”.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Community

South of the James Farmers Market will be a Drive-thru Farmers Market this Saturday

Drive-Thru Market on Saturday, March 28th, 9 am – 1 pm. Pre-orders ONLY. Customers will not leave vehicles.

Avatar

Published

on

There will be a Drive-thru South of the James Market on Saturday, March 28th, from 9 AM to 1 PM. There are some very important rules to follow for this to work. Pre-orders only from the specific vendor. Those vendors might have some of their own rules, follow them. Customers will not leave their cars. Reach out to the specific vendor for what they have and place your pre-order.

For this to work there can’t be cars just cruising the vendors to see what they can buy. Pre-order from the vendors directly. Most vendors are posting what they’ll have and how to pre-order at the South of the James Farmers Market Facebook.

It will be interesting to see how this works out with keeping traffic flowing and how many cars show up. I’m sure greater minds than I have a plan in place. There will be some hiccups, be patient, you will get your bread and salsa.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Richmond Weather

Events Calendar