Journey Through A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary
along Route 15 in Virginia's Piedmont
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View of Willow Grove from Rte. 15
Photograph courtesy of Scenic America: Deborah L. Myerson

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.

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


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