Northampton Historic Preservation Society
Take a quick tour of the Northampton County Historic Court Green in Eastville with us! The Northampton Historic Preservation Society provides an overview of the historic buildings dating back to the 1731 Courthouse on this tour. In 1913, the organization’s founder saved three 18th and 19th century buildings on the Court Green from destruction, a 1731 Courthouse, a ca. 1800 Clerk’s Office, and a ca. 1814 Debtors’ Prison. In 2011, the 1899 Courthouse was restored and is now being used as a County Administration Office. It features a NHPS Exhibit Room and hallway display at the front of the building. These historical buildings make the Northampton County Historic Court Green one of the most intact in Virginia and the country. The Northampton County Court Green in Eastville is on both the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, Northampton County is known for its unique records—the nation's oldest continuous court records. Northampton’s records date from 1632 to the present day; no other Virginia county can make such a claim.
The Northampton Historic Preservation Society is Fundraising to Restore the 1907 Jail
Please consider donating to restore the 1907 Jail for use as a museum about Northampton County jails and a genealogy research center. The Northampton Historic Preservation Society has been awarded a one-to-one $50,000 challenge grant by The Cabell Foundation to support the restoration and preservation of the 1907 jail building on the Northampton County Court Green in Eastville, Virginia. This project will complete a five-building combination of exhibits and buildings reflecting Northampton County, Virginia governance over the past three hundred years. The existing self-guided tour includes an "overview of the Northampton Court Green history" exhibit in the 1899 Courthouse (now County Administration Building) and exhibits in the 1731 Courthouse, the Old Clerk's Office (ca.1800) and the Debtors Prison (ca.1814). The addition of the 1907 Jail Museum will become the fifth stop on the educational tour. Northampton Court Green buildings showcase architectural styles from the last three centuries and provide informative exhibits about activities that took place on the court green.
With the restoration of the 1907 Jail, the Northampton County Court Green is certain to be one of the most intact and restored court greens in the Country. If you would like to contribute to restore the 1907 Jail for use as a museum, a donation button is available below. The museum will feature the role jails played in county governance in Eastville, Virginia from Colonial times until today. To place the restoration of the 1907 Jail in perspective, in 1913 the founder of NHPS saved the 1800 Clerk's Office, 1814 Debtors Prison, and the 1731 Courthouse from destruction. Think about what a significant historical loss that would have been. This time it is our turn to save this 113-year old structure for future generations to understand the role jails played in Northampton County governance, in conjunction with the other remaining historical structures, for over 300 years. The Cabell Foundation challenge grant relies on community involvement through contributions to support preservation efforts! Every gift counts!
Learn more about the 1907 Jail and all the other jails that once stood on the historic Northampton County Court Green by clicking here.
For a form to use to send a donation by mail, click here: Donation Form
Northampton County Historic District in Eastville, Virginia
Three hundred years reflecting the continuity of government can be found in Eastville, Virginia on the Northampton County Court Green. It includes the 1731 Courthouse, one of only a handful of colonial courthouses that survive in Virginia; the brick Clerk's Office dating to the late 18th century, a rare example of an early clerk's office with a flagstone floor and vaulted masonry ceiling; and a Debtor's Prison (ca. 1815) that has been called the state's best remaining example of its type and is essentially unchanged. The Debtor's Prison is a brick building with a heavy door, double-barred windows, and hand-wrought spiked nails.
1899 Courthouse Court Green Historic District Exhibit
The Northampton County Court Green is one of the earliest and most complete in Virginia and listed as a Historic District on both the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.
In 2013, the Northampton Historic Preservation Society dedicated a Historic Exhibit in the front left room of the 1899 Courthouse at the Northampton County Court Green in Eastville. A life-size figure in Colonial attire holding the Declaration of Independence is one of the first exhibits to greet visitors as they enter the historic display room. During renovations of the county administration complex, Northampton County administrators allowed this space to be used for an NHPS historic display.
The exhibit room was formerly part of the county records vault. It retains features of its former use and includes the original interior window shutters and fireplace built in 1899 with a replica of the original mantel and the vault door. The exhibit affords visitors the opportunity to take self-guided tours through three centuries of history on the Northampton County Court Green. This historically significant story is told through exhibits that include period pieces, artifacts, narratives, and photographs.
Exhibits in the display room have items pertaining to three buildings, the 1731 Courthouse, the Old Clerk's Office dating to the late 1700's, and Debtor's Prison, ca. 1815. An original walnut raised-panel book press and a scale model of the 1731 design of the Courthouse is also included. Exhibits also continue down the adjoining hall from the historic display room and feature early Northampton County photographs along the walls and five exhibit cases featuring items from the NHPS collection.
Court Green Historic District Exhibit in 1899 Courthouse Hours*
Open Year Round
Monday to Friday, except holidays
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(public bathrooms available)
*Three Historic Buildings are open to visitors from April until October from Monday to Friday
16404 Courthouse Road, Eastville, Virginia
Turn west on Business Route 13 or Route 631
Directions to Eastville
From the North: From the Maryland state line, Eastville is about 50 miles south on US Highway 13. Turn right on Business Route 13 (Courthouse Road) or Route 631 (Willow Oak Road).
From the South: From the end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, Eastville is about 15 miles north on US Highway 13 (Courthouse Road). Turn left on Business Route 13 or Willow Oak Road (Route 631).
Watch the dedication at this link of the Historic Exhibit: Dedication
Northampton Historic Preservation Society
P.O. Box 501
Eastville, VA 23347
email: [email protected]