Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in |

About Townfield


Built in 1745 – 1750 and enlarged in 1790 and then again in 1837 when a wing was added. It was first owned by Robert Gilchrist, (who also owned Lots 1, 8, 15, and 22, and was a prominent founding father of the town). The property here acquired the name Townfield about 100 years later. Gilchrist owned at least 11 Lots in Port Royal, as well as outside of town. Before his death in 1790, Gilchrist added two additional sections to Townfield– his original house on Lot 8.




After Gilchrist died in 1790, James Robb owned Townfield until his death in 1805. His wife lived there with her 8 children until her death in 1819. After the Robbs owned this house, it was purchased by Philip Lightfoot, and wife Sarah, who also had 8 children. They added the Federal Wing in 1837. The wing contains halls on the first and second levels with a separate front entrance, a large end-chimney providing fireplaces on both stories. John Bernard Lightfoot took ownership of the house in 1864, and then Champe B. Thornton and wife Laura in 1871. By 1900 William Turner Pratt and wife Mary occupied Townfield. The Pratts sold 120 acres of the property to Fanny Marshall in 1905. In 1912, Fanny Marshall sold the acreage back to the Pratts. The property has changed hands only a few more times since then.


–History and About Courtesy of “Hidden Village: Port Royal, Virginia 1744 – 1981” by Ralph Emmett Fall