Historic Courthouse, Photographer: Gwen Woolf
Courtroom in 1911, Courtesy Lynn Brownley
Westmoreland County Historic Courthouse
The town of Montross is the county seat of Westmoreland County, Virginia. Named after the English shire of Westmoreland, the county was created in 1653. At the time, Puritans had displaced Governor William Berkeley during the English Civil War. Despite this change in leadership, the General Assembly continued to champion population expansion and land speculation along the Potomac River. Montross was established as the county seat in 1673.
The earliest version of a courthouse in the area was on Walter Broadhurst’s plantation near Nomini Ferry. The first courthouse at Montross was built in 1679 on the land of John Minor. However, construction was never completed and in 1707 a new Courthouse was built, which stood until 1817. In 1817, the building that is now the Historic Courthouse was built. It was remodeled in 1900 and 1930. The Courthouse was full of paintings that are now located in the original museum, including the portrait of Willliam Pitt (Lord Chatham). In the 2010s all functions of the courthouse moved to the English Building and the New Courthouse further down the street.
The Historic Courthouse now serves as a visitor center for the Town of Montross, and has exhibits on Westmoreland County History. This building also houses the Henry Hungerford Library and Genealogical Research Center. There is also a small gift shop that sells local history books and a handful of postcards and souvenirs.
Visit Contact Us
15880 Kings Highway Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Montross, VA 22520 Phone: (804) 493-3133
Mondays – Saturdays
10:00 am – 4:00 pm