Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project



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Institution Name: Hampden-Sydney College
Original/Historic Place Name: Westmerton
Location on Campus: Via Sacra (formerly Roxbury Rd.)
Date(s) of Construction:
1856original construction Dabney, Robert Lewis
Designer: Robert Lewis Dabney
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Italianate, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: brick
Walls: brick
Roof: tin, metal
ca. 1856private residence (house for seminary professor, designer-architect; later used as a residence for college faculty)
ca. 2004-present (2006)private residence (for Vice President for Institutional Advancement)

The original house is essentially intact. An octagonal addition (study) was added ca. 1870. Some details have been lost (e.g. cast iron filigree ornaments from window hoods), and several original panes have been engraved with initials by early occupants.

Westmerton is important as a self-designed home in a style unusual in this area. It is also important as the house in which Stonewall Jackson's wife took refuge during the last years of the Civil War (she was kin to Dabney's wife). Dabney wrote an authorized biography of Jackson, and that manuscript was kept hidden in the house during the War.


Brinkley, John L. On This Hill: A Narrative History of Hampden-Sydney College. Hampden-Sydney, VA: Hampden-Sydney College, 1994.

Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission. Hampden-Sydney College Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1970.


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Last update: November 2006