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Edgehill (Photo credit: Calder Loth/DHR, 2004)

Edgehill, also known as Edge Hill and Edgehill Farm, is a historic house located near Shadwell in Albemarle County. In 1826, the Edgehill plantation was describe as lying four miles east of Charlottesville, between the Rivanna, where it was safely navigable, and the South West Mountains.[1]

Early history

Edgehill plantation first came into the possession of the Randolph family in 1735 when William Randolph of Tuckahoe obtained three land grants containing 1000, 600, and 400 acres, respectively, totaling 2,400 acres from King George II.

The property was inherited by Thomas Mann Randolph, Sr., also of Tuckahoe, who sold it to his son, Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., following the younger Randolph's marriage to Thomas Jefferson's daughter Martha in 1790. Although the elder Randolph had presented the old Randolph estate Varina, in Henrico County, to Thomas and Martha as a wedding gift, the young couple came to prefer the mountain climate of Albemarle County that was familiar to Martha from her life at Monticello. Soon after purchasing the Edgehill tract, the couple found themselves residing at Monticello where Randolph served as Jefferson's overseer.

Built in 1828 by Thomas Jefferson Randolph, grandson of Thomas Jefferson, the two-story, Flemish-bond brick house burned in 1916, resulting in the almost total destruction of the interior of the main block and a large west ell. The exterior walls of the 1828 house were salvaged, the ell removed, and the house extended to the north shortly thereafter.

The original Edgehill residence, a one-story, wood-frame structure of ca. 1799, stands to the rear of the main house and has been extensively altered to serve as a school and later as an office.

Edgehill as listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register (VLR) on June 15, 1982 and the National Register of Historic Places on September 9, 1982. [2]

Narrative from Virginia Landmarks Registry

"In view of Monticello, Edgehill was the home of Thomas Jefferson Randolph, favorite grandson of Thomas Jefferson. The stately brick house was built for Randolph in 1828, his family having outgrown the 1799 frame house built for his father, Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., husband of Jefferson’s daughter Martha. The house was designed and built by the University of Virginia builders William B. Phillips and Malcolm F. Crawford, who continued the Jeffersonian style into the antebellum period. Specific Jeffersonian features are the Tuscan porch with Chinese lattice railing and the Tuscan entablatures. In 1829 Mrs. Thomas Jefferson Randolph opened a small school at Edgehill. The school was first operated in the original dwelling, moved a short distance to make way for the present house. The school was continued by her daughters until 1896. The house was gutted by fire in 1916, but was sympathetically rebuilt within the original walls."

List of previous owners

One of its owners was a D. Ballantine who committed suicide on December 10, 1905, though not at the home itself. [3]

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  1. Web. VALUABLE LANDS FOR SALE, Richmond enquirer, November 23, 1824, retrieved April 24, 2023.
  2. Web. 002-0026 Edgehill, Virginia Landmarks Register, April 4, 2018, retrieved January 19, 2020.
  3. Web. D. Ballantine Commits Suicide, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, December 11, 1905, retrieved December 11, 2022. Print. December 11, 1905 page 1.

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