Virginia may be brimming with homes steeped in historical significance, but few can match the distinction of Llangollen, one of the largest privately owned places on the Department of the Interior’s National Historical Registry.
The establishment of Llangollen dates back to 1795, where it stood witness to many historical events, including the prelude to the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg. On the market for $34 million, the estate in Upperville, Virginia features 1,100 acres of rolling terrain, including 350 acres of mountain woodland. It has the distinction of being first surveyed by future founding father George Washington in the late 1700s and once having been visited by French military officer Lafayette.
Over the years, numerous dignitaries, movie stars and socialites have visited the idyllic location. Llangollen also has been a gathering place for community activities, including charitable benefits and tours for students and history buffs.
Listing agent Julie Brodie of Engel & Völkers Tysons said the property is attracting international attention from prospective buyers, including queries from Latin America and the Middle East. The estate in historic Loudoun County features an abundance of opportunities for equestrian pursuits, including polo, thoroughbred-breeding and fox hunting, as well as dairy farming or producing wine.
In the 1700s, the county’s rich agriculture and its contributions of grain to George Washington’s Continental Army earned it the nickname “Breadbasket of the Revolution.”
There are eight ponds on the property, four miles of stacked stone walls and six miles of interior roads throughout.
Brodie said Llangollen, Welsh for “land’s end,” offers the sort of space and seclusion that many buyers covet in a country escape, providing plenty of room to accommodate family and friends.
Donald Brennan, the retired chairman of Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, and his wife, Patricia, took ownership of the property in 2006 for $22 million, and made an estimated $10 million in upgrades to the homestead.
On the scenic mile-and-a-half drive up to the front door of the house, visitors can enjoy awe-inspiring views of 30 acres of manicured lawns, gardens and outbuildings. Once you exit the vehicle and gaze out over the sweeping panoramic vista of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah Valley, it’s easy to understand why guests are overwhelmed. “It’s just spectacular,” said Brodie, who added that the estate offers a stunning vantage point for observing the sunrise and sunset.
Graced by a grand columned portico, the 12,500-square-foot manor house offers the best of yesterday and today, remaining faithful to its past while introducing contemporary updates for generations to come. The three-story home, which has been re-stuccoed, features a grand antebellum Federal style, circa 1800, bearing the distinctive architectural features of its time, as well as later Colonial Revival enhancements.
Only eight owners in 225 years have had the distinction of calling Llangollen home. The 24-room dwelling includes nine bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, 17 fireplaces and a three-car garage. Select furnishings and artifacts will remain with the home to preserve its history.
“When you walk in the home, it’s like going back in time, said Brodie. “It’s almost surreal. And when you walk in the foyer, the chandelier right above you is so bright and crisp.”
Brodie admires how the Brennans incorporated modern elements while respecting the pedigree of the historic home. “The way that they’ve done it is so beautiful because they have left some of the very old, but they brought in some new like a modern kitchen to host functions and a large family,” she said.
Four buildings with apartments and seven tenant houses are on the property, encompassing a total of 17 bedrooms. A staff of seven workers maintains the wide array of houses, barns, gardens and facilities.
Horse lovers, take note: The stables can accommodate up to 100 horses. In addition, there are four polo fields, one polo arena, a five-bedroom jockey guest house and blacksmith shop.
A large concrete cistern that collects and stores water from streams on the property is a prime example of sustainable water management in action. The distribution system sends water to 120 points across the property.
“The cistern feeds the homes, the water through the horse stables, the polo facility and everything,” said Brodie. “It’s magnificent.”
The climate and rich fertile soil at Llangollen beckon wine producers. “That’s why people in the wine industry are looking here,” said Brodie, adding that “they are looking for a place where they can do different types of events here too.”
Click here to watch a video showcasing the property. For more information, contact Julie Brodie at 703-865-6092.