Battersea is an historic colonial plantation home that was built for John Barister in 1768. Barister was the first mayor of Petersburg, a Revolutionary delegate, congressman and framer of the Articles of Confederation. The sectional massing of Battersea displays the neo-Palladian style as popularized in England in the 1700s and embraced in colonial Virginia. Earlier and later examples of this style can be found at Brandon and Castlewood, respectively.
Much of the original interior and exterior trim was replaced during the early 1800s. The house retains its original, elaborate Chinese lattice stair, the finest example in Virginia. The design of the staircase was based on the published design of English architect William Halfpenny. The house is now owned by the City of Petersburg and is one of several historic buildings open to the public as museums. Today, the grounds are but a fraction of the original plantation acreage, however, the original, rural, setting is suggested by the landscaping that surrounds the immediate area of the dwelling.
Battersea was listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register on May 13, 1969 and the National Register of Historic Places on November 12, 1969. For more information please visit: Battersea Foundation or call 804-732-9882.
Last updated: September 20, 2016