On Friday August 19, our friends at the National Park Service conducted a tour of the grounds of the Fitzhugh Mansion in Stafford County. Known as "Sherwood Forest", the estate is now awaiting its fate at the hands of the current owner, a large development firm with plans of building a mixed-use subdivision. Whether the mansion will find its way into the plans as a restored relic of our regional heritage or succumb to the bulldozers is something we will have to see. The site was recently included in Preserve Virginia's list of most endangered sites. The history of the estate, and an account of the NPS conducted tour, can be found by clicking this link
and this link
. The house had sat unoccupied for many years and was last used as apartments for local college students.
In June of 2008, I had the opportunity to visit the mansion during a building stabilization project. The former owners had contracted with Spear Builders
to tackle the job.
The west front of the main house, looking northeast, early in the project.
The north end of the main house, looking southeast from
the kitchen building. The attached porch seen here was
later removed. It probably dated to the 1920s. A servant
entrance can be seen at the extreme left of the wall.
The rear or east face of the main house, looking southwest, before
removal of rampant vegetation along a garden pathway.
Some months later, the same approximate view as seen above.
The central entrance hall, looking northeast from the front doorway.
Continuing down the hall, this is the furthest entry to the south end room
on the main floor. This view is looking toward the east.
Turning to the right, this is the southwest view of the same room as above.
Crossing the main hall again, this view is of the north room which was once the
dining room of the mansion. This view looks to the northwest.
Upstairs, this is one of the bedrooms, looking north.
A view of the vast estate property, looking southeast. Land destined for development.
Another view of the acreage, looking east, toward an abandoned rail line along the distant woods.