Oatlands Historic House & Gardens are located a few miles outside of Leesburg in the gently rolling hills of Northern Virginia. One of the best preserved examples of Federal-era architecture in the area, this lovely estate provides visitors with a fascinating look into the lives of those who lived and worked here more than 200 years ago. We’ll examine Oatlands’ history and distinctive features in more detail in this article, as well as the reasons why it should be on anyone’s travel itinerary who is interested in Virginia’s past or present.
History of Oatlands
George Carter, a well-to-do plantation owner and politician who served in the Virginia House of Delegates and the United States Congress, began construction on Oatlands in 1804. Carter had traveled through Europe and had stopped in the Scottish town of Oatlands, which inspired the name of the property.
With hundreds of slaves working on the plantation and Carter owning over 3,600 acres of land, the estate quickly developed into a thriving hub of commerce and agriculture. Oatlands experienced its fair share of triumphs and tragedies over the years, including the building of several impressive outbuildings, the transfer of ownership, and the devastation caused by the Civil War.
Oatlands was purchased in 1903 by William Corcoran Eustis, a wealthy businessman and diplomat, after changing ownership several times over the years. Eustis was committed to preserving the past and launched a significant restoration effort to restore Oatlands to its former splendor. His additions to the property also included a formal garden and a sizable reflecting pool.
Oatlands was purchased by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1965, and they have been in charge of looking after it ever since. Today, Oatlands welcomes visitors and provides a variety of educational programs and events all year long.
Features of Oatlands
Oatlands’ lovely Federal-style mansion, which was constructed in 1804 and lovingly preserved over the years, is one of its most striking features. The mansion has 16 rooms, 8 bathrooms, and several opulent reception halls, totaling more than 18,000 square feet of living space. For more information on the mansion’s history and architectural features, including its elaborate plasterwork, opulent furnishings, and stunning artwork, visitors can take a guided tour.
Oatlands’ extensive network of landscapes and gardens, which have been created to highlight the beauty of the surrounding environment, is another highlight. A large reflecting pool, several walking trails, and formal gardens with a sunken garden, a rose garden, and a boxwood garden are all features of the estate. In addition, the grounds also feature rolling hills and forests.
A kitchen, a carriage house, and slave quarters are just a few of the historic outbuildings at Oatlands that offer a glimpse into the daily lives of those who lived and worked on the plantation. At Oatlands, visitors can discover more about the institution of slavery and the lives of the slaves who worked on the plantation.
Oatlands is accessible to the general public all year long, and from April to December, guided tours of the mansion and gardens are offered. Visitors can also independently explore the estate on foot or by bicycle, taking in the many picturesque vistas and abundant natural wonders. With numerous indoor and outdoor spaces available for rent, the estate is also a well-liked location for weddings, business events, and other special occasions.
Be sure to include a visit to Oatlands Historic House & Gardens in your itinerary if you’re thinking of visiting Leesburg, Virginia. It is a place that is worth visiting whether you are a local or a tourist. It’s not surprising that Oatlands is regarded as one of Northern Virginia’s top tourist destinations given its distinctive combination of history, culture, and natural beauty.