154 Hansen Rd..
Charlottesville, Virginia 22911
Welcome to one of Virginia's most beautifully situated and charmingly authentic antebellum estates. Set amid the Keswick area's breathtaking mountain views, unspoiled forests and sparkling waters, this complex of historic buildings, landscaped parkland and farm amenities would compare favorably with the finest English country manors. The 1850s home still has most of its original features and charm. Offered as either a 178+/-acre estate for $2,930,000 or a with less acreage at 67 acres for $1,800,000 or 26 acres for $1,400,000. (The 67 and 26 acres offerings do not include the pond or cattle barns.)Cobham Park lives and breathes the gracious style of the Old South.
Cobham Park was created c. 1855 when William Cabell Rives, Sr., the noted United States Senator and Minister to France, gave a portion of his own Castle Hill estate to his son, William Cabell Rives, Jr. Inspired by England's 18th century stately homes, William, Jr. was careful to preserve the virgin forests while creating sweeping vistas and elegant formal gardens around the house. He died in 1890 and his widow sold Cobham Park in 1907. From the early 20th century to the 1970s it was owned by Reverend G. Freeland Peter, Canon-Chancellor of the Washington National Cathedral. It was then sold to Leonard Milgraum, an attorney, writer and poet.
A winding, half-mile-long private drive through mature oak and pine woodland brings you to broad, sloping lawns crowned by the brick manor house, one of the finest examples of Georgian Revival architecture in the country. This 7600 square foot, six bedroom, two & one-half bath home exudes the elegance of its era, featuring grand entrances with Doric columns both front and back, 11.5-foot ceilings on the first and second floors, entry hall arches with fluted pilasters, six fireplaces with grandly scaled mantels, and woodwork by English master carpenter E. S. McSparren. The star attraction: McSparren’s superb flying staircase with turned balusters and molded handrail.
Once in the entry hall, the home's classic double pile configuration becomes apparent, with the large formal dining room and eat-in kitchen on your left, the living room and study on the right, and a view straight through to the back porch overlooking the formal gardens. On the second floor are four spacious bedrooms and two full baths which open out onto the sun deck. The third floor comprises two smaller bedrooms, each with dormer windows on three sides, plus an abundance of storage closets.
In the basement you get a genuine glimpse of how our forefathers lived. Here is the "old kitchen" with a giant fireplace that once roasted its owners' meats, along with a laundry room and another room that's perfect for a man cave.
Following the principles of renowned English landscape architect Capability Brown, Cobham Park's designer "edited nature" to create views from the front of the house that combined open sight lines with untouched woodland. William, Jr.'s herds of fine horses, cattle and sheep grazing in the lowland fields completed the pastoral scene. Behind the house is an extensive formal garden featuring paved walks and English boxwood borders. The current garden was designed in 1924 by the Olmstead Brothers (noted for their work on the Biltmore Estate), and has been meticulously maintained ever since.
A walkway connects the manor house to the conservatory, now outfitted as a guest house with four rooms and one bath. Scattered around the property are five more wood frame cottages which may be rented to tenants or used for group retreats and family visits. The large carriage house contains a three-car garage and stalls for six horses. Several early outbuildings remain, including the original smokehouse.
Gently rolling and abundantly watered, the farmland is suitable for livestock or vineyards. The property is ready to go to work immediately, with two cattle barns, four to five miles of fencing, a henhouse and an equipment shed/workshop.
If you'd rather just relax and enjoy nature, the Cobham Park estate offers plenty of opportunities. Bridle paths and open trails take you through natural settings, past a small lake and along more than a mile of Mechunk Creek, which is fed by numerous streams from the farm. This secluded property is a superior habitat for wildlife, and an ideal sanctuary for a tranquil country lifestyle.
Because much of the Keswick area is under permanent conservation easement, you can rest assured that future development will never compromise the natural beauty of this corner of Virginia. Cobham Park itself is not in conservation easement, but would be a great candidate should you wish to donate the development rights for tax credits.
Cobham Park is:
On the Virginia Register of Historic Places
On the National Register of Historic Places
Offered with 178+/- acres* for $2,930,000
67+/- acres* for $1,800,000.
26+/- acres* for $1,400,000.
*All acreage configurations will need to be agreeable between buyer and seller and approved by Albemarle County as acreage is being divided off from larger parcel.
Contact Gayle to make an appointment to visit this historic estate in Keswick and Albemarle County, Virginia.
copyright 2012-2014 by Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc.
154 Hansen Rd. Suite 102B
Charlottesville, Virginia 22911