This weekend marks the 61st year that Trinity Episcopal Church has presented three county houses for its annual House Tour. The dates are Saturday and Sunday, the third full weekend in the month. This has been the traditional weekend for the tour — guaranteed to be a perfect fall weekend, a time to enjoy the color and majesty of the mountains, and the diversity of houses that light up the landscape of our county.
Tickets for the event are available on days of the tour, at the Church Hall of Trinity Episcopal Church in Washington, or at any of the three houses (look for signs on the roads). Cost is $30 for all three houses, and $15 for one house. Light refreshments will be available in the church hall on Saturday 10 to 2. Proceeds from the tour benefit local, national and international charities.
This year’s Trinity Church house tour includes (left to right) Rock Run Farm in Woodville, WIndstone Ridge in Flint Hill, and Willis House in Sperryville.
This year, Flint Hill, Sperryville, and Woodville are showcased on the tour, presenting three different examples of building styles. Homes in Flint Hill and Sperryville date from the early twentieth century, the first an imposing house on a hill with extensive views, the other a stately Victorian in a village. The third house is relatively new, but with established shrubbery, stone walls, and furnishings from the owners’ pasts evoking a European village.
Rock Run Farm in Woodville is nestled high on a hilltop, a complex of home, guest house, and pavilion, centered around a flagstone courtyard with a fountain. Natural light floods through the complex through massive windows providing panoramic views of the fields, farm animals and distant mountains. Interior and exterior spaces blend both sheltered nooks and open spaces for entertaining. Large wood beams and stained glass windows in all the structures provide unity, and the furnishings, with treasures from generations of family, as well as interesting pieces from near and far, make Rock Run Farm a delight in every way.
Just a mile north of Flint Hill on Route 522 stands a pale yellow home with striking wrap around porch on the crest of a hill, facing the mountains. This is Windstone Ridge, which was built in 1902 for a Rappahannock County commissioner. For 10 years, the current owners (only the third) worked to make needed changes. They repaired porch columns and railings, replicated the horsehair/lime stucco, and brought the original tin roof back to its former glory. Inside, they cleaned the Red Oak woodwork, redid the plumbing and electric, and added a family room. The original rooms were kept as they were, with fireplaces and wide hallways, but redoing the kitchen disclosed the original cooking fireplace, complete with a swing arm for pots. The home’s garage is also on the tour, showcasing the owner’s second career — redesigning garage spaces.
Everyone notices the “yellow house” in Sperryville. It too has been in the county since the early 1900s. Now it’s combination of a house and two adjoining outbuildings, with the front room and den the original parlors with a central hall, and the kitchen and great room in the back — part of the other original house overlooking a landscaped back yard, a restful sight. Upstairs, there are three bedrooms, one specifically decorated for the grandchildren. Everywhere are collections reminiscent of the owners’ pasts — which combine the history of an old Rappahannock family and its memories with lives lived all over the world. Rappahannock artists’ works share space with collections of Canton China and Imari porcelain. As an example of a “house in town,” the Willis house is a reminder of gracious living deeply rooted in the community.