How much for history? Dunnington mansion goes up for sale

Published 1:04 am Friday, April 7, 2023

The Dunnington Mansion and surrounding property now have a price tag. The Laura Peery Team of Sotheby’s International Realty announced on Thursday, April 6 that they’ve been hired to sell the property for an asking price of $12.5 million. 

The package includes all of Manor Development’s partially developed land holdings surrounding the Manor Golf Club. It also includes the Dunnington Mansion and more than 766 acres of land, 23 tracts with what the Laura Peery Team estimates are $3.5 million worth of improvements. To be clear, this sale does not include the Manor Golf Club, just the property around it still owned by Manor Development. In other words, Longwood and Hampden-Sydney College golf teams will still be able to play at Manor Club. 

More about the Dunnington Mansion 

Richard Woodson bought the land in 1748 and built the first structure on the property. Then the home, then called Poplar Hill, was passed down through the family before being sold to Capt. John Knight in 1860.

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He left the mansion to his daughter and son-in-law, the Dunningtons. It was during this time, in 1897, that the current mansion was built. Dunnington extensively renovated the home, adding on four rooms, a massive tower and stately front entrance. This also changed the orientation of the house, switching from north/south to east/west. The front of the house now faces west.

After their death in 1960, the home was owned by the Bolt family until 2000. Then it changed hands several times after that, from 2000 to 2021. At that point, the Community Development Authority purchased the property to build the Manor Golf Course.  

But the money dried up, part of the property went into foreclosure and a portion was sold. While the golf course was built in 2004, the mansion has sat empty since. Roof problems have allowed nearly 20 years of rainwater to come in and damage many areas of the home.

Foundation is hopeful 

The Dunnington Mansion Foundation is a nonprofit made up of history enthusiasts who are dedicated to preserving both the history of the mansion and hopefully the structure itself. They’re hopeful any new owners will work with them to preserve the mansion.  

The DMF is cautiously optimistic about the possible sale of Poplar Hill,” said Heather Beach, the foundation’s president. “We are doing the most possible to save the mansion given the limited capacity in which we can currently operate.” 

Beach said the current owners have been very open to letting the foundation raise money and begin small restoration projects on the property.  

“We hope that new owners will want to save the mansion themselves (and) partner with us to restore the house and gardens,” Beach said. 

If that’s not the case, however, she’s hopeful any new owners would consider selling the mansion and a small piece of land around it.  

The mansion is located at 971 Manor House Dr. in Prince Edward County. Click here to see a video walkthrough of the interior.