Brentsville - 1822 Tavern SiteIf you had stood in this spot between 1822 and about 1900, you would have seen a large structure to your right, bustling with activity. This is the site of the Brentsville Tavern, also know as the Brentsville Hotel. You would have also seen the Courthouse and the Jail. Before the Civil War, the Clerk's Office would also have been visible.
As you walk along this path, you'll discover how archaeology helps us learn more about the buildings once located in the Tavern Square and the people and activities associated with them.
(sidebar) Please help us protect this important historic resource. Metal detecting, collecting and other destructive activities are prohibited. Thank you.
The 2004, archaeologists from the University of Mary Washington's Center for Historic Preservation excavated portions of the Tavern site. They identified sections of the main building as well as numerous outbuilding sites and features. Some of these are still somewhat visible. Others will be defined during future excavations.
Tavern or Hotel?
During the 1700s, taverns provided lodging, meals, and entertainment. In the early 1800s, some taverns were expanded or built to include specialized spaces such as ballrooms and private bed chambers. These places became known as "hotels".
(caption under upper, right picture) Tavern guests usually shared beds. Hotels offered private rooms and were better able to serve female lodgers.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress
When the County seat was moved to Brentsville in 1822, this tavern was likely the first structure to be built. Although the establishment was first known as the Brentsville Tavern, on November 22, 1828 it was advertised as The Brentsville Hotel in the Virginia Gazette.