Built in the late
18th century for Joseph Clark, the original frame residence at Willow
Grove was substantially enlarged in 1848 by the addition of a brick wing
and a unifying Tuscan portico. It is believed some of the woodwork in
this Federal portion was executed by the same artisans who crafted Montpelier,
President James Madison's lifelong Orange County home. The remodeling
was done for Clark's son William, who inherited Willow Grove in 1839.
The resulting building stands as an example of the influence of Thomas
Jefferson's Classical Revival style on the country homes of Piedmont
Virginia. The portico is accented by the distinctly Jeffersonian touch
of Chinese lattice railings.
View of Willow Grove from Rte. 15
Photograph courtesy of Scenic America: Deborah L. Myerson
Inn at Willow Grove
Photograph courtesy of Willow Grove Inn
The mansion has withstood the ravages of two wars. Generals Wayne
and Muhlenberg camped here during the Revolutionary War, and the mansion
was under siege during the Civil War. Trenches and breastworks are visible
near the manor house, and a cannonball was recently removed from the
eaves. The house is enhanced by its pastoral setting and collection
of outbuildings. Later the homestead of the Shackelford family, the
house and outbuildings are now used as a country inn.
Willow Grove is located 2 miles northwest of Orange on the west
side of Rte. 15. It is now the Inn at Willow Grove. For more information about the Inn and making reservations, please visit the Inn's website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.