Belle Grove at dawn

photo by: National Park Service/Buddy Secor

Historic Sites

Belle Grove

  • Constructed: 1797
  • Location: Middletown, Virginia

Belle Grove is the centerpiece of the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. Situated on 283 of the original 483 acres, Belle Grove showcases the Shenandoah Valley’s breathtaking mountain view.

“The most splendid building west of the Blue Ridge.”

Historian Samuel Kercheval

Major Isaac Hite and his wife Nelly Madison Hite (sister of President James Madison) built Belle Grove in 1797. The grandson of Shenandoah Valley pioneer Jost Hite, Major Hite expanded his original 483 acres to a prosperous 7,500-acre plantation, growing wheat, raising cattle and Merino sheep, and operating a large distillery and several mills.

Visitors to Belle Grove’s plantation grounds can explore the Manor House. Once called "the most splendid building west of the Blue Ridge,” the Federal-era home was based on design principles of Thomas Jefferson and constructed of native limestone quarried on the property. The grounds also feature the 1815 icehouse and smokehouse, demonstration garden designed by the Garden Club of Virginia, slave cemetery, and a heritage apple orchard.

Belle Grove is owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and operated by Belle Grove, Inc.

National Trust for Historic Preservation Member Discount

Fifty percent discount on regular public tours: one adult for individual Members; two adults and all children under 18 years of age in the immediate family for all other Members. Discount does not apply to other programs and cannot be combined with other offers.

To receive discount, valid membership card must be presented at time of visit. Please contact site directly to ensure that discount is available on date of planned visit and for specific tour desired.

Visit Belle Grove

Plan Your Visit

Sign up for email updates

Your donation today supports our work to save historic places and preserve our heritage for a better, brighter future.

Donate Today
Close