French Family Association
Mara French, P.O. Box 1109, Sutter Creek, CA 95685-1109.
Famous French Architecture
Last updated by Mara French on 5/19/08. Send corrections or additions to Mara French.
Old Welbourne, Upperville, Virginia, 43 miles from the US Capital in WDC
Elizabeth French was b. in 1757 at Rose Hill in Fairfax Co., VA. Her father, Daniel French who built the Pohick Church in Fairfax County, the same church that George Washington attended, died in 1771 when Elizabeth was only 14. She became the orphaned ward of George Washington, who introduced her to Benjamin Tasker Dulany and they were married two years later on 10 Feb 1773 when Elizabeth was only 16. Elizabeth’s great wealth enabled the Dulanys to provide their eleven surviving children with estates in Virginia. George Washington wrote a letter to Elizabeth thanking her for the horse that her husband had given him during the Revolutionary War . Elizabeth is in the 4th generation of FFA Chart #36.
Elizabeth’s great wealth enabled the Dulanys to provide their eleven surviving children with estates in Virginia . Some of these children were: John Peyton Dulany and Julia Anne Bladen Dulany .
Their son, John Peyton Dulany, married Mary Ann deButts, dau. of Samuel deButts and they lived in Old Welbourne, just outside Middleburg, Loudoun Co. VA . This house had two rooms upstairs and two rooms downstairs. A cemetery is nearby this house in ruins. John and MaryAnn Delany had three children who married into the Delany family. Today Old Welbourne is in ruins. John Dulany then built New Welbourne in 1775. The New Welbourne house existed in 1991 and was owned and operated as a Bed & Breakfast still in the hands of French descendant, Nate H. Morison, III. In 2008 the house and lands were on the real estate market for $7,500,000.
Their dau., Julia Anne Bladen Dulany, m. Samuel deButts and they lived in The Anchorage in 1815. The Anchorage was later owned by Mrs. Mary Dulany Neville. Her niece Neville Atkinson, lived there for a number of years. The Anchorage was renamed Catesby when it was purchased by Mr. Alex Humphrey with the "purse" provided him by his fine steeplechase horse, "Sir Catesby." In 1991 Catesby was the home of Mr. & Mrs. Bahman Batmangheldj. You can approach the house from a tunnel road underneath the horse race track . The current Catesby house was built about 1930, after the old house burnt down .
Another house still exists in 1991 near Old Welbourne that was owned by Samuel DeButt’s aunt, Sarah deButts, who m. Hall . In 1991 it was owned by the Bedford family .
Ben T. Dulany and Elizabeth French were divorced some time after the War of 1812 and the horse "Blueskin" that Gen. Washington rode during the war was returned to Elizabeth rather than Ben. In the divorce, Ben got Shooter’s Hill just outside of Alexandria and where he was buried, where the Masonic Temple is now. Elizabeth got the townhouse in old Alexandra, VA .
BESIDES HUNTING, Loudoun has also been fertile ground for both horse shows and polo. The Dulany family lived at Welbourne, near Middleburg, and one of the county’s first polo fields existed near the estate from about 1918 until 1932. Located along the Goose Creek, the field, the only flat ground between Middleburg and Upperville, was used by William P. Hulbert and the Middleburg Polo team. In 1932, the team moved to Phipps’ Field, which is now known as Kent Field. The polo field was renamed for Redskins’ owner Jack Kent Cooke, who purchased the land from Paul Mellon and Sen. John Warner. It was Richard Henry Dulany, of Welbourne, who founded the Piedmont Hunt around 1840 and went on to found the Upperville Horse Show, which is still held today at The Oaks. The horse show began in 1853, after Richard noticed that farmers weren’t treating their mares properly when in foal," Eugene Scheel wrote in his "Loudoun Discovered" series Volume Three. "He offered a silver cup to the farmer with the best colt and when [Dulany] went to see jeweler Louis Tiffany in New York, Tiffany recognized a new potential for silver and donated the first cup and presented it to the winner.
Dan deButts indicates where various homesteads of his family exist today. Old Welbourne (1A) has two rooms upstairs, two rooms downstairs, and is his ancestor’s home where the graveyard is. Old Welbourne (1B) is the new larger house, some family in recent years lived there; currently is the Bedford’s home. Also see New Welbourne (shown as Welbourne on the map), Catesby or The Anchorage, and Creek View. (from Dan deButts research in Nov 1991)
Old Welbourne is a farming estate nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The 328+ acre farm is situated in the south western corner of Loudoun County, an area renowned for its pastoral beauty and large farming estates and graced by some of Northern Virginia’s most elegant and substantial residences.
The area’s topography ranges from gently rolling to hilly and is predominantly composed of large open meadows framed by abundant water sources such as the Beaverdam Creek, the Piney Branch, the Pantherskin and the protected Goose Creek. This sector of the county is historically rich in fertile soils ideal for productive farming.
Located in the heart of Virginia’s finest fox hunting territory, Old Welbourne serves as a major fixture for the Piedmont Fox Hounds. The charming villages of Upperville and Middleburg are only minutes away offering both fine dining and shopping. The property is 45 minutes from Dulles International Airport and 1 hour from downtown Washington, DC.
Heart pine floors accent the well proportioned rooms of Old Welbourne with ten foot plus ceilings, eight total fireplaces and original moldings. This manor house is a traditional hunt country home that reflects a quiet, elegant style of living long appreciated in Virginia.
History The original tract of Old Welbourne consisted of more than 620 acres. The land came into the Dulany family in the first part of the 19th century when they arrived in America from Queen’s County, Ireland.
It was the seventh child of Miss Elizabeth French, ward of George Washington, and Benjamin Tasker Dulany of Annapolis, Maryland, who in 1811 inherited over 500 hundred of these same acres. Daniel Peyton Dulany and his new bride Mary Ann debutts built a modest stone and log four room cabin which they aptly named ‘Welbourne’ to honor her birthplace ‘Welbourne Hall’ in Lincolnshire, England.
Sometime between 1820 and 1840 this small cabin was abandoned, possibly due to fire, and the Dulanys moved with their four children five miles away to a late 18th century stone house. It was renovated in the Greek Revival style of plastering over the exterior stone and operates today as a local Bed & Breakfast named ‘Welbourne’ and is still owned by descendants of the Dulany family.
Records from 1852 indicate that the original ‘Welbourne’ cabin was renovated and that a large new brick residence was built nearby to house Daniel P. Dulany’s daughter, Julia. Being it sat upon the land which had the original Dulany dwelling, they decided to call this new brick home “Old Welbourne.”
The ruins of this historic first Dulany home place, along with the Dulany family cemetery, remain on the property today. The cemetery was built in 1878 of thick fieldstone walls capped with limestone and dotted with hemlocks to shade the many tombstones.
Buried in the graveyard is Colonel Richard Hunter Dulany who in 1853 founded the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, a thriving local event, noted as the ‘…oldest horse show in the United States.’ His son, Richard Hunter Dulany founded the Piedmont Fox Hounds in 1840, which continues to hunt hounds three days a week from August through March in this territory.
Main Residence Old Welbourne was originally built as a Victorian house. Additions were added at some point to each side and the roof pitch was changed to create the spacious Georgian brick manor house it is today. Distinguished Georgian style architecture is seen in the belt coursing on the brick faćade, the pillared portico entrance, and the proportion of the windows. This 14 room country residence offers a genteel lifestyle long enjoyed in Old Virginia.
Old Welbourne provides over 6,500 square feet of finished living space and has 12 foot ceilings throughout the entire first floor. The home features a gracious entry hall with a long sweeping staircase that welcomes visitors. It is flanked on the right by a large formal dining room with a fireplace, floor to ceiling windows, fine moldings and french doors that open on to a brick terrace over looking the gardens and pool.
To the left of the entry hall is a sizeable double parlor with two fireplaces and floor to ceiling windows. Next is a pine paneled library or den with a fireplace, built in bookcases and a door that opens to a small brick side porch.
The main hall leads to another covered all brick side porch. To the right into the back hall, there is the butler’s pantry, a powder room, and a laundry room. At the very back of the house is the kitchen with three large windows and one wall of exposed brick. There is ample cabinet space, a built in loveseat, an island and all new appliances which include a large six burner stove and commercial size fan and hood. The second level of Old Welbourne boasts five sizable bedrooms with deep closets, fine moldings, three full baths, four fireplaces and 9 foot ceilings. The large master bedroom suite features a full bath with marble counter, a sun porch with windows on three sides that overlook the garden and a walk through closet with two levels of closets.
The recently renovated third floor offers three more bedrooms and two full baths. A small foyer or sitting area completes that level. The basement has a center room for storage, a children’s playroom and a utility room with a new oil furnace, complete new plumbing and water softening system. There is hookup for an additional washer and dryer and a separate utility sink. A small hall leads to an outside access.
Land & Gardens Old Welbourne has a large formal garden surrounding the pool. A tall brick wall borders one side of the flagstone deck of the pool and incorporates the all brick pool house with two changing rooms. Behind the wall is a fenced vegetable garden. There are massive specimens of indigenous trees which include sycamore, catalpa, oak, gum, walnut, pine and poplar. Located in the front circle is a magnificent 100+ year old Tulip Poplar with over a 60 inch diameter and a tremendous canopy that casts shade over 1/3rd of the house.
The Main house sits atop a knoll that is flanked by two flowing streams; the Piney Branch and the Beaverdam – both tributaries to the large protected Goose Creek.
Two thirds of Old Welbourne's rolling land boasts excellent soils therefore producing lush hay meadows, pastures and cornfields, with the balance in hardwood forest.
Farm Facilities Old Welbourne has various outbuildings and farm facilities. The original garage has been converted into a large tack room with office and a new indoor wash stall. This is attached to the main nine stall barn with a massive hayloft. There are two large pastures of ten plus acres and eight smaller paddocks all with new black board fencing. Two additional storage sheds provide ample storage for hay, tractors, and equipment. Other facilities include a small one bedroom cottage near the barn, a three bedroom farm manager’s residence and two silos.
Conservation Easement Old Welbourne was placed in a volunteer conservation easement program in 2000 in accordance with Loudoun County’s Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) Program. This easement is co-held by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF). The property consists of two parcels, but is offered only as a whole. Floor Plan & Complete Architectural Drawings Available upon request
Contact: Cricket B. Whitner (Agent is an Agent/Owner)
Asking Price: $ 7,500,000
SHOWN BY APPOINTMENT ONLY