Waverly (Leesburg, Virginia)

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Location S. King St., Leesburg, Virginia
Coordinates 39°6′22″N77°34′5″W / 39.10611°N 77.56806°W / 39.10611; -77.56806 Coordinates: 39°6′22″N77°34′5″W / 39.10611°N 77.56806°W / 39.10611; -77.56806
Area 3.8 acres (1.5 ha)
Built 1890
Built by John Norris & Sons
Architectural style Colonial Revival, Queen Anne
NRHP reference # 83003288 [1]
VLR # 253-0048
Significant dates
Added to NRHP February 10, 1983
Designated VLR May 18, 1982 [2]

Waverly is a mansion in Leesburg, Virginia that was built for Robert Townley Hempstone (18421913) about 1890. The turreted frame house combines the Queen Anne style with elements of Colonial Revival architecture. Hempstone, a Baltimore businessman, retired to the property that was then on the southern outskirts of Leesburg. The house was built by John Norris and Sons, who were responsible for many prominent houses, churches and commercial structures in Leesburg. Norris' son, Lemuel Watson Norris, became an architect in Washington, D.C. and designed projects for his father's firm.

Leesburg, Virginia Town in Virginia

Leesburg is the county seat of Loudoun County, Virginia, regarded as one of the most picturesque towns in America. It was built circa 1740 and occupied by some of Virginia’s most famous families, being named for Thomas Lee, ancestor of Robert E. Lee. In the War of 1812, it became the temporary seat of the United States government, and in the Civil War, it changed hands several times.

Queen Anne style architecture in the United States architectural style during Victorian Era

In the United States, Queen Anne-style architecture was popular from roughly 1880 to 1910. "Queen Anne" was one of a number of popular architectural styles to emerge during the Victorian era. Within the Victorian era timeline, Queen Anne style followed the Stick style and preceded the Richardsonian Romanesque and Shingle styles.



Described as "opulent," the 2-1/2 story house is arranged with a square main section to the front, with a rear service wing. The front, on the west side of the house, is sheltered by a full-width single-story porch that wraps partway around the north and south sides. The main entry is a pair of doors with a fanlight transom. The interior features a center hall plan with a monumental stair offset to one side. The stair features a stained glass Palladian window on the landing between the first and second floors. The expansive central hall is flanked by drawing rooms, a dining room, and a smaller parlor. The rear wing houses service areas with servant quarters on the second floor. The main house is isolated from the servants' quarters on the second floor. A turret on the attic level is the only finished room on the third floor. [3]

Fanlight semicircular or semi-elliptical window with bars radiating out like an open fan, above another window or a doorway

A fanlight is a window, often semicircular or semi-elliptical in shape, with glazing bars or tracery sets radiating out like an open fan. It is placed over another window or a doorway, and is sometimes hinged to a transom. The bars in the fixed glazed window spread out in the manner of a sunburst. It is also called a "sunburst light".


Hempstone died in 1913. After several owners, the house became a restaurant in the 1950s, then a private school in the 1970s. The house was restored in the 1980s. Following a fire, Waverly was again restored in 1995 and is the main feature of an office center. Waverly is itself used for offices. [3] [4]

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  1. National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service.
  2. "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  3. 1 2 Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission Staff (May 1982). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Waverly" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
  4. "Waverly". Journey Through Hallowed Ground. National Park Service.