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Essex County

Essex County is named for Essex in England.

 

Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – King George CountyWestmoreland County and Richmond County

E – Middlesex County

S – King and Queen County and Caroline County

W – Caroline County

 

Created:  April 16, 1692                          Map of Virginia highlighting Essex County

County Seat: 

Tappahannock  1692 – present

 

County Courthouse – Tappahannock  

 

Location:  305 Prince Street / Cross Street

Built:  1848 – 1849

Style:  Greek Revival

Architect:  Warner Lewis, William A Wright and James Roy Micou ( Commissioners )

Contractor:  Warner Lewis, William A Wright and James Roy Micou using local labor

 

Description:  The building faces southeast and is a two story buff-red colored brick structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of the city. The southeast front has a porch with two white colored columns rising to a wide pediment at the roof. The recessed entrance is arched. On either side of the porch are vertical windows with vertical pilasters on either side. On the roof is a high square white colored cupola with octagonal cupola at the top. The roof is hipped. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 15th Judicial District. In 1912, the building was rebuilt by Smith Fireproof Construction Company. The bell tower was added in 1926. The contractor was Alfred I DuPont. In 1962, an addition was constructed. The architect was C W Huff, Jr. and the contractor was Milton L Hammond Inc. The building was damaged by fire on August 30, 1965. The building was restored in 1967. The architect was J Henley Walker, Jr. and the contractor was Milton L Hammond Inc. On the southeast side of the courthouse is the Old Clerk’s Office built in 1808 and is now used by the Women’s Club.

 

See:  National Register of Historic Places – Tappahannock Historic District

 

County District Court Building – Tappahannock  

 

 

Location:  300 Prince Street / Cross Street

Built:  1994 – 1996

Style:  Modern

Architect:  The Moseley McClintock Group

Contractor:  Viking Enterprise, Inc.

 

Description:  The building faces northwest and is a one story red colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located to the south across the street from the courthouse in the center of the city. The building is “L” shaped with a wing on the southwest side which extends southeast. The entrance is located at the northeast end with a recessed white colored framed doorway. Above is a semicircular section at the roof line. Along the northwest side are a series of arched windows. The roof is hipped. The building houses the County General District Court and County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of the 15th Judicial District.  

 

Old County Courthouse – Tappahannock  

 

Location:  202 North Church Lane / Queen Street

Built:  1728 – 1729

Style:  Georgian

Architect:  John Moore

Contractor:  John Moore

 

Description:  The building faces southwest and is a one story red colored brick structure. The brick is laid in Flemish bond with arched windows. The building is located on landscaped grounds to the west of the courthouse in the center of the city. The south side has a square brick tower with arched entrance on the first story and open belfry at the top. The building was partly burned by the British in 1814 and served as the courthouse until 1848. In 1875, the building became the Beale Memorial Baptist Church and the belfry was added. In 2004, the building was acquired by the County.

 

See:  The 15th Judicial Circuit includes Caroline CountyFredericksburg, Hanover CountyKing George CountyLancaster CountyNorthumberland County, Richmond County, Spotsylvania County, Stafford County and Westmoreland County

 

History:  The county was created in 1692 and Tappahannock formerly called Hobbs’s Hole was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was built by Larkin Chew in 1702. The second courthouse was built in 1728 to 1729 and is still standing. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1848 to 1849. The County District Court Building was constructed in 1995 to 1996.

 

 

County Courthouse – Tappahannock  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old County Clerk’s Office – Tappahannock 

 

 

County District Courts Building – Tappahannock 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos taken 2013