Extending from the Orange County line to the outskirts of Charlottesville, with the Southwest Mountains forming its spine, this 31,000-acre district includes some of the Piedmont's most pristine and scenic countryside. Characterized by undulating pastures, winding roadways, forested hills, and small hamlets, the district contains a broad range of 18th-, 19th-, and early 20th-century rural architecture, reflecting the evolving cultural patterns of 260 years of settlement. Althoughknown primarily for historic estates with fine dwellings such as Castle Hill, Cobham Park, and Cloverfields, many of
the district's structures are the products of a continuous vernacular building tradition. Several African-American settlements also lie in the area. Scattered throughout the district is a remarkable range of farm buildings including early barns, granaries, corncribs, stables, and sheds. A strong sense of community pride has enabled preservation of the district's pastoral character.
The Southwest Mountains Rural Historic District is over 31,000 acres bordered by 1-64 just before Charlottesville on the south, Rte. 20 on the west, the Orange county line on the north, and the C & O Railroad tracks on the east.