While on my first airline trip since the start of the COVID pancemic, to visit my about to turn 21 son in June 2022, who was interning in Wichita, Kansas, I took a phone call from a researcher at the Fox Business Channel which had picked up our exquisite Llangollen listing. "We'd like to feature Llangollen in the next season of Mansion Global." he said. "Do you think your clients would be interested?".
That call resulted in a day long July film shoot in Upperville, Virginia, at the 1,100 acre property with its magnificent house, spanning two centuries of development from its original patent house, built in 1795 through additions in 1830, 1918, 1930 and finally 1990. Apart from a little accidental embellishment claiming that George Washington stayed there, which he did not, although he did survey the original land at and around Llangollen, the piece beautifully showcases this very special equestrian property called Llangollen. Enjoy! ⬇️
From time to time, a truly iconic property, full of history and aura comes to the market, and our Llangollen estate is a case in point.
Located just outside the quaint village of Upperville, Virginia, Llangollen sits on 1,100 acres of beautiful countryside, in conservation easement, and dates to 1795 when the original patent house was built, in order to abide by the terms of the formal prescription of the lease to the first grantee which required that a dwelling be constructed.
Upperville was the scene of an American Civil War battle which preceded Gettysburg, and the fields surrounding Llangollen saw plenty of action. Locally infamous John Singleton Mosby, romantically referred to as the Gray Ghost, is purported to have spent time at Llangollen, meeting in the downstairs pub seen below.
The thousands of acres on and around Llangollen were originally surveyed by a young man by the name of George Washington, better known forever as the founding father and first President of the United States of America.
Guests at the property during the nineteenth century included the Marquis De Lafayette who made it his base on the east coast during his grand tour of the United States, as well as our third President, and drafter of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, whose Monticello has been studied by the present owners of Llangollen in order to properly decorate this fabulous house.
The Civil War years and the reconstruction period immediately thereafter were not kind to southern estates like Llangollen, which had previously relied on the abhorrent practice of using the enslaved to farm the land and produce its crops. Decades passed before subsequent stewards took ownership, and began its slow rehabilitation. But it was not until 1930, when John Hay 'Jock' Whitney, publisher of the New York Herald Tribune, President of the Museum of Modern Art and, later, US Ambassador to the United Kingdom purchased Llangollen as a wedding present for his fiancée, Elizabeth Altemus and restored and significantly expanded the beautiful property, creating a new southern wing off the manor house, and building the impressive and quite unique horseshoe barn pictured below.
Whitney and his wife divorced after ten years of marriage, during which time they developed a formidable racehorse breeding operation, and introduced polo to the property, a sport which Jock excelled at, and which remains to this day, by way of a world class facility with three polo fields and an arena.
Liz Whitney remained at Llangollen until her death in 1988, marrying several more times and in 1989 the property was acquired by businessman and former Nixon Whitehouse official, Roy L. Ash, who founded Litton Industries and was the 21st Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and his wife Lila. The Ash's took on the huge task of restoring Llangollen to its original glory and extending the house on both ends, creating a modern kitchen off the original patent house to the north and the library/guest room wing to the south.
Llangollen is ready now for its next’s 'custodians', and represents an exciting opportunity to own a rare piece of history and real estate, just an hour from Washington Dulles International Airport, and DC just beyond.
This delightful Middleburg estate, about to hit the market, beautifully encapsulates why one would want to live in this idyllic part of the world. Hidden well away from the beaten track, off a traditional gravel road, the house and barn are sited on ten partially wooded acres and totally insulated from the noise of every day life, except for the sounds of wildlife.
The house was designed by well respected architect, William E. Poole and built by a local custom builder in 2000. Finishings are to a very high standard and touches such as an eighteenth and a nineteenth century manel, Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors and 10-foot ceilings on the main level make this a home where memories will be created for a lifetime.
Visit 21014Beaverdam.com to pour over the photo album, interactive floor plans and much more.
Assisting my broker, Janeen Marconi, in creating an alluring video presentation of her latest listing was more than a delight. It allowed me up close insight into a pre-American Civil War property which has undergone a wonderful and sympathetic restoration by its current owner. It really is inspirational.
This wonderful new listing on very quiet Ada Road, is just three and a half miles from Interstate 66 and the town of Marshall, Virginia.
Listed at just $595,000, the all brick ranch rambler was built in 1995, and sits on 5 tranquil acres, with a large fenced backyard and freeform in ground pool.
Incredibly, there are almost 4,000 finished square feet on two levels, with the three bedrooms, including the primary bedroom with attached primary bath, on the main, entry level. The main level also includes the open plan kitchen overlooking the family room, a formal living room and formal dining room and second full bath.
The lower level is truly an entertainer's dream, with its full wet bar and wine room, games area, media area, sitting area, dining area, bonus room, office and laundry room.
Take a look at the listing information page for more detail and the video below!
Belmar farm, Middleburg sale
My listing of the beautiful Belmar Farm on Saint Louis Road, Middleburg just closed, with happy listing clients and delighted new owners.
The home was built by local custom builder, University Group, in 2005 and consists of almost 8,000 finished square feet on three levels. The land upon which the house sits is quite simply spectacular, with incredible views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the 25 acre site.
I must mention the buyers agent with whom I worked on this transaction, Mary Illes, who was absolutely fantastic to work with, and whom I am very grateful for bringing such lovely clients.
Christmas in Middleburg
The first Saturday in December has marked what has become the famous Christmas in Middleburg event, stymied only last year by the pandemic, but back in full force this year.
To help safeguard against transmission of the latest Omicron variant, the Middleburg Town Council decided to limit paid parking, and therefore visitor numbers, to 1,000 cars in the three main lots, two outside of town and one at the Salamander Resort & Spa.
Incredible weather and a desire to get out into the open air meant that Middleburg enjoyed one of the best ever events, with improved visitor dining options and excellent signage all through town.
From our wonderful elevated Washington Street location, we were able to enjoy both the early morning horse and hounds review followed by the parade just after lunch.
The evening before Christmas in Middleburg witnessed the annual town Christmas tree lighting at the Pink Box visitor center, another much anticipated, although far more local, annual tradition.
State of the market
The past year has seen so much upheaval globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An unexpected effect of this in the local countryside real estate market has been a significant uptick in sales, and corresponding reduction in available inventory. The net result has been property value increases and bidding wars being the norm, rather than the exception.
Recently, the respected Loudoun County, Virginia magazine, Leesburg Lifestyle magazine arranged an interview at the Hunt Country Sotheby’s International Realty Leesburg main office with my industry friend and colleague, Debbie Meighan of Washington Fine Properties and myself.
We are delighted to exhibit beautiful horse and animal artwork by Isabelle Truchon at our Middleburg office. Isabelle, who last year relocated from Loudoun County to Oregon, has passionately painted horses and animals for many years. Her polo art is very popular and, we hope, she will paint more of that fast and amazing sport.
My quick tour below shows our current paintings, all of which are also available for sale - except for our own polo canvas.
Please contact me if you would like to see Isabelle's currently available paintings at our office, Hunt Country Sotheby’s International Realty, 2 W. Washington Street, Middleburg, VA 20117.
Peter has written for his local magazines, Country Zest & Style and Middleburg Life as their Wine contributor. He also enjoys writing blogs on interesting and pertinent real estate matters, so please follow!