Cornwell Farm, Great Falls, Virginia National Register of Historic Places

by Karen Briscoe
September 27, 2013

Cornwell Farm, Great Falls, Virginia

National Register of Historic Places
13.1 lush acres

Cornwell Farm is currently on the market for sale by the Huckaby family for $4.9 million.  The listing agents are Karen Briscoe and Bill Detty of the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Realty Group, Keller Williams.  The Cornwell Farm residence in Great Falls, Virginia has survived as a well-preserved example of Northern Virginia antebellum plantation architecture.  It is one of the area’s most significant residential properties with a Nineteenth Century Manor House, circa 1831.  Located one mile east of Great Falls Village the land is currently divided into 2 parcels:   8.1 acres with Historic Home, Caretaker’s cottage with 2 vehicle carport, 4-stall Horse barn and a contiguous 5 acre parcel with easement for egress.  There is the potential for additional building lots with 2 acre zoning.

The property was accepted into the National Register of Historic Places on April 13, 1977 and documentation is available for interested parties.  It has been featured in these publications:

“My land. . . your land. . .This Land At Cornwell Farm” by Jean Tibbets; printed by The Great Falls Historical Society;  Great Falls, VA  2003

“Grandpa’s Shadow:  Stories for young and grown-up children” written and illustrated by Ann Cornwell Starke, copyright 1972

It is scenically important in that it is the major architectural element to be seen along the historic Georgetown Pike, the first road in the state to be designated a Virginia By-Way.  The entry features a magnificent cedar tree-lined private drive arriving at a pea gravel motor court. Centuries old Boxwoods line the front portico at the front entrance of the home.  The mature landscaping and new plantings with accent lighting has been professionally maintained.

The gently rolling land and country vistas are some of the most gorgeous this close to Washington, DC.  It can also serve the function as an equestrian property featuring a 4 stall barn, fenced and cross fenced pasture land and run-in shed for horses.

The Manor Home grounds include a brick patio designed for entertaining in the style of the 19th century.  The heated swimming pool with brick surround patios was added for more modern outdoor living.  A vernandah style porch with bead board ceiling is accessed off the Morning room.  It was built by Winthrop Custom Homes and completes the outdoor entertaining and living spaces.  There is a separate caretaker’s cottage with attached greenhouse and carport area with space for 2 vehicles.

The front door is graced with both transom and side lights.  The foyer features a distinctive gradual-incline staircase that has 3 square balusters to a tread, a flattened oval handrail, and a turned newel post.  The very large and grand formal Living Room has a wood burning fireplace which mantle has a carved eagle and carved jugs on the front.  The elegant Dining Room reflects a bygone era complete with ample storage and display provided by built-in china cabinets.  The Den with fireplace, custom built-in shelving and painted woodwork is in keeping with the period.  The Morning Room/Breakfast Room for more casual meals is located between the Formal areas and the Kitchen.  There are 2 offices (one with fireplace) off of the family wing. A half bath is conveniently located in the Morning Room.

The kitchen renovation was completed by the current owners by Winthrop Customer Builders.  The finishes include custom cabinetry by Wood-Mode, granite countertops, tile backsplash and 2 sinks.  The appliances include:  Sub-Zero Refrigerator/Freezer, Viking 4 burner cook top with griddle and grill inserts and vent hood, Dual Viking self-cleaning wall ovens, Fisher Paykel 2 drawer dishwashers and GE Monogram microwave.

At the top of the grand staircase is a Landing and features custom built-in cabinetry.  All of the hardwood floors on this level are original and plantation shutters grace the windows.

The Master Suite features a wood burning fireplace with provincial Federal mantel; a ceiling fan has been added for climate comfort.  The Master Bathroom renovation was completed by the current owners by Winthrop Custom Builders.  It includes:  Dressing area with Makeup vanity and full mirror; 2 walk in closets; walk in shower with dual shower heads including rain head and hand held spray; double vanities with seated area; claw foot tub with hand held; separate water closet; honed marble flooring and 2 linen closets.

The second floor originally had four bedrooms (each with its own fireplace) and a central hall.  The plan was modified somewhat during one of the restorations over the years for the installation of a bathroom with closets and dressing room adjacent to the northwest bedroom.  The mantle in the northwest room is a fine example of a provincial Federal mantle and was installed during one of the earlier restorations.  The northwest bedroom also has a ceiling fan.  There is a guest wing with full hall bathroom at the top of the family staircase.

The lower level features an enormous Recreation Room with original exposed rough-hewn beams.  Painted brick walls and Berber carpet completes the space for modern living.  Travertine tile has been installed at the diagonal in the Service Corridor and Laundry room where the washer/dryer is located.  There is a utility room on this level along with numerous storage areas.

Other notable elements of the Manor home include:  double-wing architectural style with 5,102 square feet finished living space; many interior doors have symmetrically molded trim and paneled corner blocks; the walls are plaster; high ceilings; 9 wood burning fireplaces with gas log inserts in both Living Room and Den fireplaces.  The 4 chimneys on the Manor House have all been relined with new caps within the last 10 years.  The roof installed in 2006 features Architectural Certain-teed shingles with snow/ice guards and 50 year guarantee.

The utilities for the property include modern heating and air conditioning systems; Natural Gas; Natural Gas generator for back-up power; Cox Cable provides Internet/TV service to the home.

Karen Briscoe and Bill Detty with HBC Realty Group of Keller Williams are the listing agents for Cornwell Farm and available to schedule a private showing.  Please contact via the means most convenient for you:, 703-734-0192,

Karen Briscoe is Principal of the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group (HBC) and author of "Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day". She is an Associate Broker in Virginia, a Certified Luxury Home Market Specialist, and a member of the Women’s Council of Realtors. Karen began her real estate career developing residential lots with the Trammel Crow Company in Dallas, and in commercial real estate with The Staubach Company in the Washington, DC Metro area. Karen has a Masters Degree from Southern Methodist University and her BA from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri – her hometown.
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