Windsor Castle (Smithfield, Virginia)

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Windsor Castle Farm
Windsor castle smithfield manor house 4.jpg
Back of the manor house
Windsor Castle (Smithfield, Virginia) is located in Virginia
Windsor Castle (Smithfield, Virginia)
Nearest city Smithfield, Virginia
Coordinates 36°58′32″N 76°37′35″W / 36.97556°N 76.62639°W / 36.97556; -76.62639Coordinates: 36°58′32″N 76°37′35″W / 36.97556°N 76.62639°W / 36.97556; -76.62639
Area 158.3 acres (64.1 ha)
Built 1750 (1750)
Architectural style Greek Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 00000897[1]
VLR # 300-5033
Significant dates
Added to NRHP August 2, 2000
Designated VLR June 14, 2000[2]

Windsor Castle is a former plantation and now a public park in Smithfield, Virginia, United States. It dates to a land grant of 1,450 acres (590 ha) by the King of England to Arthur Smith in 1637. Arthur Smith’s great grandson, Arthur Smith IV, established the town of Smithfield in 1750. The first recorded use of the name “Windsor Castle” dates from 1884.[3] It is located in the Smithfield Historic District.

In 2005, real estate developer Lewis McMurran obtained an option to purchase Windsor Castle for $2.2 million. The agreement included a historic easement around the manor house. McMurran proposed to build a 445-unit “New Urbanism” development on the property outside the historic easement. The proposal was withdrawn amidst strong opposition from town residents.

In 2007, Joseph W. Luter III donated $5 million to the town for the purchase and development of Windsor Castle as a park. Lewis McMurran then executed his option to purchase the property. The town council voted to pursue the use of eminent domain to obtain the property. In 2009, an out-of-court agreement was negotiated for the town to purchase the property outside the historic easement for $3.8 million and for McMurran to donate to the town the property within the historic easement.

The manor house and surrounding 208 acres (84 ha) are now a public park. The 46 acres (190,000 m2) immediately surrounding the manor house are protected by a historic easement controlled by the state of Virginia. The park was formally opened during a ceremony officiated by the Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell on May 22, 2010. The park features hiking trails, a dog park, a mountain bike trail, a fishing pier, and a canoe launch. The manor house overlooks the junction of Cypress Creek and the Pagan River. The King of All Places manor house (circa 1806) can be seen across Cypress Creek from the Windsor Castle property.

On April 2, 2013, it was reported in the Virginian-Pilot that the Smithfield Town Council has leased five acres at Windsor Castle Park to Smithfield Winery LLC to establish a vineyard for a small-production winery.[4]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  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 5 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Mary Ruffin Hanbury (April 2000). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Windsor Castle Farm". Virginia Department of Historic Resources.  and Accompanying photo
  4. ^ Grapes may soon grow at Windsor park in Smithfield | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com

Further reading[edit]

  • Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia, by John Bennett Boddie, Heritage Books, 1993.

External links[edit]