Ravensworth (plantation)

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Ravensworth plantation, Virginia

Ravensworth was an 18th-century plantation near Annandale in Fairfax County, Virginia. Ravensworth was the Northern Virginia residence of William Fitzhugh, William Henry Fitzhugh, Mary Lee Fitzhugh Custis, and William Henry Fitzhugh Lee. It was built in 1796.[1]


Ravensworth was located near Annandale, Virginia, south of Braddock Road, west of the Capital Beltway (Interstate 495).


It was one of three mansions built on the large Ravensworth land grant; the other two were Ossian Hall and Oak Hill. William Fitzhugh had also purchased a townhouse in Alexandria at 607 Oronoco Street in 1799, which his family - in 1818 - loaned to their cousin, Anne Hill Carter Lee, widow of Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee, and her eleven-year-old son, Robert Edward.[2] Eleven years later, on 26 July 1829, Ann Hill Carter Lee died at Ravensworth.[3]

William Fitzhugh died and was buried there in 1809.

Ravensworth then passed to Fitzhugh's son William Henry Fitzhugh, who died in 1830. William Henry Fitzhugh's childless widow, Anna Maria Sarah Goldsborough Fitzhugh, ran the estate until her death in 1874.

William Fitzhugh and Ann Bolling Randolph's daughter Mary Lee Fitzhugh married George Washington Parke Custis (Martha Washington's grandson) and became the mistress of Arlington House. Their grandson, Confederate general William Henry Fitzhugh "Rooney" Lee, inherited Ravensworth after the death of his great-aunt and lived there from 1874 until his death in 1891.

When Mary Anna Custis Lee fled Arlington House in May 1861 after the outbreak of the Civil War, she stayed at Ravensworth briefly, but then moved further south for fear of inviting damage to the home. All three of the Fitzhugh estates were protected by orders from both sides throughout the war.[4]

The house mysteriously burned on 1 August, 1926.[5]

In 1957, Dr. George Bolling Lee's widow sold the estate for development.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History of Annandale". annandale.va.us. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  2. ^ History of Ravensworth, Ray D'Amato
  3. ^ Paul C. Nagel (27 February 1992). The Lees of Virginia: Seven Generations of an American Family. Oxford University Press. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-19-507478-9. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "History of Annandale". annandale.va.us. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Marc R. Matrana (11 August 2009). Lost Plantations of the South. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-57806-942-2. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 

Coordinates: 38°48′32″N 77°13′23″W / 38.809°N 77.223°W / 38.809; -77.223