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Francis Land House

Francis Land House
Francis Land House
Location 3131 Virginia Beach Blvd.
Virginia Beach, Virginia

36°50′28″N 76°4′48″W / 36.84111°N 76.08000°W / 36.84111; -76.08000Coordinates: 36°50′28″N 76°4′48″W / 36.84111°N 76.08000°W / 36.84111; -76.08000{{#coordinates:36|50|28|N|76|4|48|W|region:US-VA_type:landmark |primary |name=

Built 1804
Architect Land, Francis
Architectural style Georgian
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 75002118[1]
VLR # 134-0031
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 12, 1975[3]
Designated VLR April 15, 1975[2]

The Francis Land House, or Rose Hall,[4] is a historic brick house in located within the Rose Hall District near Princess Anne Plaza in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It was the plantation home of the prominent Land family, a founding family of Princess Anne County, Virginia.[5][6]


Land family history on the site spanned the 1630s to the 1850s.[5] The house passed through six males named Francis Land and then the last Francis' daughters before being sold to another family. Slaves were first documented on the site in 1694, with importation of new slaves up to the 1730s.[5] In the mid-18th century the plantation had as many as 20 slaves.[5] The first Francis Land arrived in the area in 1638–1639 and later acquired Script error: No such module "convert". of land by 1654, 200 of which was acquired via head rights by bringing four people with him. The plantation got as small as Script error: No such module "convert". over the next 150 years and at the time the current house was built the plantation was just under Script error: No such module "convert".. The current house sits on Script error: No such module "convert". of that original plantation,[4][7][8] and is now in the midst of a very commercialized area.[5][7]

The house was at one time thought to have been built in 1732,[7] but recent research has placed its construction in the period 1805–1810 by Francis Land VI.[6][9] Francis VI and his family lived there around 1805–1819, when Francis VI died.[6] When Francis Moseley Land built the house his family had already been living on that land for 150 years.[9] Francis VI and his wife had two daughters, who held onto the land until about 1850–1851, when it was first sold outside their family. The roof was raised Script error: No such module "convert". in 1912. The continued functioning as various types of farms until the 1940s, at which time it was a dairy farm. By the 1950s the area began to have businesses and a major road. During the mid-late 1900s, the house was the Rose Hall Dress Shop.[6]

In the early-mid-1970s a developer wanted to tear down the house and build a shopping mall, but the City of Virginia Beach stepped in purchased the house and land in 1975; subsequently operating it as a historic house museum since 1986.[6] Special programs for schools, Scouts, and the general public are offered throughout the year.[10] Adjacent to the house are the Rose Hall Apartments and Rose Hall Professional Center.[8]


The house's exterior is Georgian style and the inside features period rooms furnished with Federal style antiques and reproductions with heart of pine floors.[6][7] The exterior walls are double depth Flemish bond brickwork. The manicured grounds include herb, vegetable, flax, formal, and "pleasure" gardens, as well as a history park which includes a constructed Script error: No such module "convert". nature trail in a wooded wetland with interpretive sign exhibit.[5][7][8][9] The trail leads to what was once the Pine Tree Branch of the Lynnhaven River. There is a spinning wheel demonstration that shows how the family made clothing from its sheep. A Midsummer Celebration based on a medieval theme has been held annually during the summer solstice for over 20 years.[11]


The house was listed in the Virginia Landmarks Register (Virginia Historic Landmark) and the US National Register of Historic Places in 1975.[12][13][3] While the house has a plaque stating it was placed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks in 1975,[14] it does not appear on the official National Park Service listing of National Historic Landmarks (NHL) for Virginia.[15] If not already listed on the National Register of Historic Places, an NHL is automatically added to the Register upon designation. About three percent of Register listings are NHLs.[16]

See also


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Virginia – Virginia Beach County". National Register of Historic Places. Retrieved September 12, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Francis Land House". Princess Anne County/Virginia Beach Historical Society. Retrieved September 12, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Francis Land House, Historic Site, and Gardens". Virginia African American Heritage Program. Retrieved September 16, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Francis Land House". History Museums City of Virginia Beach. Retrieved September 16, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Francis Land House". Frommer's. Retrieved September 12, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c "Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail". Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. 2010. Retrieved September 12, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c "Francis Land House Historic Site". Commonwealth of Virginia. Retrieved September 12, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Francis Land House". City of Virginia Beach. Retrieved September 12, 2010. 
  11. ^ "2010 Midsummer Celebration changed to Francis Land House". WTKR. Retrieved September 16, 2010. 
  12. ^ "The Francis Land House". Historic Marker Database. Retrieved September 12, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register * National Register of Historic Places" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved October 3, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Francis Land House". Historic Marker Database. 1975. Retrieved September 12, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Listing of National Historic Landmarks by State: Virginia" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved September 12, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 65". US Government Printing Office. Retrieved September 12, 2010. 

External links