Battersea is an important colonial plantation house constructed, along the banks of the Appomattox River, in 1768 for John Banister, 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 18th century 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 19th century. 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 is located at 793 Appomattox St. in Petersburg, north of U.S. Rte. 1. It is open for tours by appointment. There is an admission fee. Please call 804-733-2402 or 1-800-368-3595 for further information, or visit the website. Battersea has also been documented by the Historic American Buildings Survey.
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