If 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.
By 1822, William Claytor began building the Tavern, Courthouse, Jail and Clerk's Office. He likely constructed the Tavern first to serve Courthouse complex workers and people moving to Brentsville.
The Tavern was aligned with the town's main road. It catered to residents and people traveling to Brentsville for court business. Here they met, lodged, stabled their animals, ate and drank.
(caption for lower, right picture)Brentsville Tavern patrons may have enjoyed music, dancing, and other entertainment.
Merrymaking at the Wayside Inn, ca. 1812, by John Lewis Krimmel (1786-1821). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1942 (42.95.12). Photograph copyright 1989 The Metropolitan Museum of Art