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Rappahannock County

Rappahnnock County is named for the Rappahannock River, which name comes from the Algonquin word “lappihanne” meaning “river of quick rising water” or  “where the tide ebbs and flows”.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Fauquier County

E – Culpeper County

S – Madison County

W – Page County and Warren County


Created:  February 8, 1833                    Map of Virginia highlighting Rappahannock County

County Seat: 

Washington  1833 – present


County Courthouse – Washington 


Location:  250 Gay Street / Porter Street

Built:  1834 – 1835

Style:  Greek Revival

Architect:  Malcolm F Crawford

Contractor:  Malcolm F Crawford and James Leake Powers.


Description:  The building faces west and is a two story red colored brick structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in Washington. The west front has four white colored vertical pilasters with a central framed entrance with a small pediment above. With small pediment above. There is a large fanlight on the pediment at the roof line and behind rises a large square white colored cupola. The roof is hipped. In the interior, the courtroom is located on the second story. The building houses the County General District Court and County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of the 20th Judicial Circuit. On the grounds to the north are the old Clerk’s Office and Treasurer’s Office (1857) and on the south side are the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office (1979) and the Old County Jail (1836).


See:  Thomas Jefferson designed the Roman Temple style of courthouse. Prominent among the courthouse builders who had worked at the University of Virginia were Dabney Cosby, Sr., Malcolm F Crawford, and William B Phillips. They in turn influenced other builders in the Jeffersonian idiom, including Branch Ellington, William A Howard, David Meade, and Valentine Parrish. Courthouse still standing  include those in Buckingham County and Charlotte County designed by Jefferson and those in Caroline CountyClarke CountyCumberland CountyGoochland CountyGreene CountyLunenburg CountyMadison CountyMecklenburg CountyNottoway CountyPage County, Rappahannock County and Sussex County.


County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office – Washington 



Location:  238 Gay Street / Porter Street

Built:  1978 – 1979

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Faulkner, Fryer & Vanderpool of Washington, DC

Contractor:  Lantz Construction Company of Broadway


Description:  The building faces west and is a one story light red colored brick  structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in Washington on the south side of the courthouse. The west front has a central white colored door. The front and rear section have gable ends. The roof is hipped. The building houses the office of the clerk of the County Circuit Court of the 20th Judicial Circuit. The structural engineer was James Madison Cutts and the mechanical engineer was Smith & Faass Consulting Engineers Associated Engineers, Inc.



History:  The county was created in 1833 and Washington was selected as the county seat. The court met at Coxes Hotel, now the Washington House at Main Street and Middle Street. The first and present courthouse was constructed in 1834 to 1835.


See:  The 20th Judicial Circuit includes Fauquier County and Loudon County.


County Courthouse – Washington

















County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office – Washinton



Old Clerk’s Office – Washington

Photos taken 2013