About the Property
Beauty of Yesterday, Modern Conveniences of Today
Nestled among several prestigious farms and estate properties in Albemarle County’s Greenwood-Afton Historic District is Ramsay. Boasting a convenient location — a mere 15 miles west of Charlottesville and the world-renowned University of Virginia along scenic Route 250, and near the two major highways of I-64 and I-81 — this exceptional 78-acre historic estate offers an ideal blend of practicality and pleasure. It’s spectacular setting, complete with unparalleled views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is perfect for history lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike — ideal for use as a private retreat for family and friends or for entrepreneurial pursuits, as a vineyard, historic country inn, destination wedding venue, corporate retreat or for livestock.
Wide, Open Spaces
Sitting atop a prominent knoll surrounded by lush, gently rolling pastures and a 180-degree breathtaking view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ramsay Farm sprawls over 78 acres of wide, open spaces intersected by Stockton Creek. The property consists of a main house; a large, detached front gable garage; a Cape Cod-style guesthouse; a two-story farm manager’s house; a three-room studio; a workshop; a potting shed and a barn. The Greenwood estate area provides an excellent combination of privacy and community; although acres of land may separate neighbors, a communal sense of friendliness and hospitality shines through.
Carefully and meticulously restored by its current owners, the approximately 5,300-square-foot, two-story Ramsay estate home features a large master suite, which could easily be converted into two bedrooms; two additional large bedrooms, one with a sleeping porch; four full and one half bathrooms; a spacious living room; an elegant dining room; a gourmet chef’s kitchen; a charming breakfast room with an office; an intimate family room; a personal library and a convenient mudroom with laundry. Ten-foot-plus ceilings on both floors, crown molding and gorgeous pine wood flooring can be found throughout the home, along with a host of modern amenities, including a two-zone hot water radiator, three-zone central air conditioning, wiring for 400 amp service and special storm windows — all in addition to its well-preserved historical attributes.
Steeped in History
The picturesque c. 1895 home is a Virginia Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places and was originally constructed by William H. Langhorne, with enlargements and restorations in 1937, 1947 and 1955. This work was overseen by Charlottesville architect Milton Grigg, well known for his association with the Rockefellers in their revival and the restoration of Williamsburg.
When Langhorne began Ramsay’s construction, it was the largest frame house in Albemarle County. A country home, the front was highlighted by a Greek Revival portico supported by two Doric columns. Another magnificent, flat-roof portico trimmed in Chippendale railing framed the twin doors at the rear. Its two-story main section was flanked by one-story wings and had three bedrooms and one bath.
In 1936, Langhorne Gibson, son of the famous Gibson Girl, Irene Gibson and well-known turn of the century artist Charles Dana Gibson inherited the property and named the residence “Ramsay” in honor of its first land grant recipient, Lord Ramsay from England. A year later, he hired Grigg to make additions and modifications to the house. Over the next 15 years, Grigg worked his architectural magic.
Ramsay is the ideal stage for hosting lavish entertainment and gracious living on a grand scale. This Virginian property offers a classic and elegant exterior, perfect for outdoor gatherings. Two expansive, covered porches facing north and south are excellent spaces to enjoy the natural beauty of the property.
The home that graces the landscape is beautiful and roomy. A two-story layout allows for easy entertaining on the ground floor. Well-proportioned rooms flow through a series of doors and hallways, creating easy movement yet a more intimate feeling inside of each room. Whether a small gathering for immediate family and close friends or a large reunion and party, there are plenty of options for entertaining spaces.
A gracious entrance hall is the first room encountered upon entering the main residence. Beautiful moldings, chippendale stair railing and a hand painted heart of pine floor highlight this room.
The living room is an architectural gem as the Grigg-designed woodwork is extensive. Located on the south side of the house, the room has three large windows and two eight foot French doors allowing in plenty of natural light. Yellow walls surround a large fireplace in the center of the room.
Adjacent to the living room is the library. Custom-built, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in redwood surround one part of the long room. A cozy fireplace is in the middle. At the far end of the room is a large bay window with window seats that look out to the fish pond and boxwood garden.
A beautiful red wallpapered formal dining room transforms every meal into a culinary experience. Rich walls and flooring are contrasted by crisp, white molding. A grand fireplace is surrounded by intricate mantel millwork and a Grigg plaster shelf cabinet. A unique antique silver over bronze chandelier hangs attractively in the center of the room.
Gourmet Chef’s Kitchen
Cottage chic style meets top-of-the-line stainless steel Viking appliances in this redesigned kitchen. Casual cooks and gourmet chefs alike can enjoy the deep, side-by-side refrigerator/freezer, dishwasher, double ovens and six-burner gas range. There is plenty of space to prepare and serve meals on the soapstone countertops and butcher-block island. Glass door cabinets for displaying china or a collection add charm to this colorful kitchen. A breakfast room extends from the kitchen, and off this room are both a small office and a mahogany porch that looks out to the mountain views. Leading off the end of this room is a large mudroom entrance and laundry room with built in cabinets and a full bathroom.
The family room is located off the entrance hall and kitchen. This space provides a light-filled room with painted wood paneling below chair rail, a wood ceiling, a built-in book shelf and hidden pocket doors for privacy. Large French doors open to the mahogany porch.
The Pine flooring from downstairs makes its way upstairs and towards the master bedroom suite, derived by combining two bedrooms. A kitchenette with sink, small refrigerator and hide away door is located at the suite’s entrance. The master bedroom is a large, inviting room with six windows and a fireplace. The room oversees the formal gardens. The separate sitting room has a fireplace and two good-sized his and her walk-in closets.
The charming master bathroom contains a tub, a large walk in shower/sauna, a closet, a double limestone vanity and heated limestone tile flooring.
Two additional large en-suite bedrooms provide plenty of room for family members and guests to enjoy their privacy in the main house. The middle bedroom is papered in “Greenbrier” style wallpaper and features three closets and a fireplace. Adjoining the bedroom is a lovely bathroom with green and natural wood parquet flooring, wainscoting and a convenient shower/tub combination.
The second bedroom suite has a large room along with what used to be called the “sleeping porch”. Perfect for a playroom/game room, the “porch” is surrounded by windows with bookshelves and a window alcove that offers space as an extra bed and storage. The adjoining bathroom is quite spacious and has built-in closets, wainscoting and an antique vanity.
Let your creativity run wild in the property’s detached three-room studio. This space was designed and built using old windows and doors found on the property. Distinct work areas are separated by two large pocket doors. Set up shop in the wood-floored room, complete with a built-in desk and storage, and perfect for office work. Or, get messy in the soap stone floored room, which features a large double sink, great for cleaning off art supplies. Large windows, colorful doors and a ceiling fan make the facility an excellent art studio or business office alike. Outdoor shower facilities make a pool house concept possible too.
Guests, au pairs or other family members, such as elderly parents/young adults, will love Ramsay’s comfortable, 2,300-square-foot Cape Cod-style cottage. This two-story guesthouse shares the same distinct, colorful decor that makes the main house so charming. Designed by Grigg and built in the 1950’s for Langhorne Gibson’s mother, the “Gibson Girl”, Irene Gibson. This three-bedroom, three-bathroom home features its own full kitchen, a family room, a dining and living room and a private driveway. The cottage is filled with charming amenities and beautiful details throughout. The kitchen opens out to an attractive screen porch that has an unimpeded view of the mountains.
Near the cottage is a large outdoor fireplace that was once the chimney of a log cabin on the property. Restored by the present owners and great for entertaining, the fireplace is used almost all year round and features a raised hearth and a sitting area that is shaped by the original first floor footprint of the cabin.
The “farm house” is the second oldest structure on the property, circa 1910. It is a 1,300-square-foot, two-over-two with a large, new kitchen addition off the back. Totally remodeled and updated by the owners and currently used as an office space, it was originally built as a residence for caretakers of the estate.
About the Area
The beautifully rolling hills of western Albemarle were a favorite summer getaway for residents of Richmond. From the mid-19th to early 20th Century, residences of significant stature and architectural design began to grace the landscape. Greenwood became home to several estates now entered into National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Historic Landmark. These properties include Mirador, Rose Hill, Casa Maria, Wavertree, Hall Farm, Tiverton, Seven Oaks and Blue Ridge Farm. These luxurious estates provided an ideal mix of solitude and socialization. Most of these historic properties are protected from development by conservation easements, including Ramsay. To further recognize the historic significance of the area, the state of Virginia recently approved the establishment of the Greenwood-Afton Historic District.
Charlottesville is a mere 20 minutes away by car. Ramsay is only a few miles from Interstate 64, so travel by car anywhere is easy. A well-known university city filled with live music, historic theaters, distinctive shopping venues and national landmarks such as Monticello, the Charlottesville area is consistently listed as one of the top places to live in the United States. The metro population is around 200,000. Washington, D.C. is a two-hours drive, Richmond is a little over one hour, and the Atlantic Coast/Virginia Beach is three hours — Location! Location! Location!
The area boasts the largest group of vineyards in the state. Wine is a fast-growing component of the state economy and is gaining more and more national recognition each year. Several well-known wineries are within a couple of miles of Ramsay.
Renowned for its natural beauty and described by one British writer as “…more like the countryside of England than anywhere in the world,” this region offers a plethora of sports and leisure activities taking advantage of the great outdoors. Hike or bike along the 28.5 miles of trails throughout Albemarle or travel only five miles to get to the beginning of the Blue Ridge Parkway and its scenic overlooks atop the Blue Ridge. Ramsay’s view looks up to mountains where the Appalachian Trail is located. Cool down during the summer months by kayaking, tubing and rafting down the James River. Winter months offer skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing experiences very close by with both Wintergreen and Massanutten Resorts within 30 to 45 minutes.
Disclaimer: This property is listed for sale by W.T. Stevens, Inc. DBA Stevens & Company (0226-011608) – One Boar’s Head Place, Charlottesville, VA 22903 – (434) 296-6104 and McLean Faulconer, Inc. (0225 073285), 2164 Orchard House Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903 (434) 295-1131. Concierge Auctions, LLC is the provider of auction marketing services, is a licensed and bonded Virginia auction firm (Bond#515095, License# 2908000850), is not a brokerage, and is not directly involved in selling real property – 777 S Flagler Drive, 800W, West Palm Beach, FL 33401 (888) 966-4759. The services referred to herein are not available to residents of any state where prohibited by applicable state law. Concierge Auctions, LLC, its agents and affiliates, broker partners, Auctioneer, and the Sellers do not warrant or guaranty the accuracy or completeness of any information and shall have no liability for errors or omissions or inaccuracies under any circumstances in this or any other property listings or advertising, promotional or publicity statements and materials. This is not meant as a solicitation for listings. Brokers are fully protected and encouraged to participate. See Auction Terms & Conditions for full details.