Cleremont Farm spans 1,511± historic, productive acres on Trappe Rd, just north of the town of Upperville. Only 60 miles west of Washington, D.C., Cleremont sits a world apart in the heart of Virginia’s highly sought-after Hunt Country. The western boundary of the property lies on the slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains while the majority of the acreage unfolds eastward over a scenic mixture of rolling pastures and woods. Spread throughout this well-improved farm are two manor houses, a guest cottage, three tenant houses, a 14-stall horse barn, and numerous farm buildings and structures.
Cleremont is comprised of three contiguous farms – Cleremont (410± acres), Bellefields (422± acres), and Ross (679± acres) – assembled over the past sixty years under the current ownership. The assemblage is the culmination of remarkable foresight, with each farm contributing different elements of mountains, open pasture, and hardwood forest. The result is an unusually complete offering that neatly balances an income producing cattle operation with extensive recreational opportunities. The versatility of the land and meticulous management have laid the groundwork for future owners, whether they choose to enjoy the farm in its current exceptional form or implement a new vision of their own.
Just the Facts
- 1,511± acres
- Located outside of Upperville, Virginia, a highly sought-after area and renowned equestrian community
- Two manor houses (one of them c. 1820 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places), patent house (c. 1761, now a guest cottage), three tenant houses
- 14-stall horse barn, significant equestrian potential
- Income producing cattle operation, farm currently supports 200 cow/calf units along with 80 yearling stockers and 10 bulls
- 450± acres of pastureland, comprised of 33 individually fenced pastures, each with one or more automatic waterers
- 2 miles of interior roads, plus miles of riding and hiking trails
- 3 ponds
- 0.9 miles of the Jefferies Branch (both sides of the creek)
- Excellent hunting, with substantial opportunities to further develop wildlife habitat
- 20 minutes to Middleburg, VA
- 70 minutes to Washington, D.C.
- 45 minutes to Dulles International Airport
- 35 minutes to Leesburg Executive Airport and Winchester Regional Airport (both of which have 5500 ft runways suitable for private jets)
- Annual property taxes are approximately $24,000
- Property is under conservation easement, as are many of the neighboring properties, ensuring the rural and scenic qualities of the area are protected in perpetuity
Driving down Trappe Rd is a bit like stepping back in time. The sunken, narrow road is lined with fieldstone walls and mature cedar and oak trees, and runs roughly parallel to the Blue Ridge Mountains, winding past several of Upperville’s best-known farms and estates. Arrival at Cleremont is marked by an attractively understated entrance lined with a three-board fence. Visitors enter under the canopy of a mature hardwood allée and follow the driveway between two large ponds, continuing onward towards the heart of the farm, a central collection of buildings that has evolved and expanded over the past 260 years. Today that includes the main manor house (c. 1820) and swimming pool, original patent house (c. 1761), farm office, and a detached three-bay garage. The views surrounding the manor house look out over Cleremont’s pastures, stone walls, and ponds, before ultimately focusing on the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west.
Continuing down the main farm road there is a 14-stall horse barn, manager’s house, and several equipment and farm buildings. The horse barn is not currently in use, but with modest renovations would be ready to welcome horses and equestrian enthusiasts. Its central location is convenient to both the manor house and manager’s house, and the surrounding pastureland could be readily converted to paddocks and equestrian infrastructure, if a new owner desired.
At the end of the farm road lies the 420± acre Bellefields Farm, the majority of which is hardwood forest and believed to be the largest flatland stand of timber in Loudoun County. Bellefields features a recently renovated three-bedroom stucco farmhouse, which can either be accessed by internal farm roads or a separate, private entrance off of Trappe Rd.
On the west side of Trappe Rd lies the 680± acre Ross Farm, the third of Cleremont’s three farms. Tucked up against the slopes of the Blue Ridge sits a second three-bedroom manor house, beautifully designed and thoughtfully sited. Approximately 515 acres of the Ross Farm is hardwood forest and features extensive riding and hiking trails, as well as excellent deer hunting opportunities. The timber on both the Ross and Bellefields Farms are closely managed and selectively harvested on a 20-25 year rotational basis.
Cleremont is under conservation easement, as are many of the surrounding properties, ensuring the rural and scenic qualities of this unique area are protected in perpetuity. Additional easement opportunities are available on the property if a future owner desired, which could potentially result in federal and state tax benefits.
The size, quality, and diversity of Cleremont make it an exceptional offering in its own right. Add in its proximity to Washington, D.C., along with the balance of income-producing land uses and recreational potential, and you have something not readily found in today’s market. We can say without hesitation that Cleremont Farm represents an investment caliber landholding in the heart of Virginia’s hunt country.
The farm is located in southwestern Loudoun County and is reached via Trappe Rd, a narrow country lane that is part of the Beaverdam Creek Historic District. The district is comprised of a network of protected country roads bordered by hedgerows and stone walls, many of which have traced the same paths since Colonial times and today anchor the farm and surrounding landscape in the area’s rich history.
Less than five miles to the south lies the charming, historic town of Upperville. Thirteen miles to the southeast is the popular weekend getaway of Middleburg, providing easy access to groceries, restaurants, and local shops. The downtown areas of both Upperville and Middleburg are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Washington, D.C. is within commuting distance and less than 70 minutes from the farm. Dulles International Airport is similarly accessible and only 45 minutes away. There are general aviation airports in Winchester and Leesburg, each of which have 5,500’X100’ runways and are suitable for private jet access. Both are an easy 35-minute drive from Cleremont – Winchester located to the west and Leesburg to the East. The net result is Cleremont Farm is remarkably accessible and equally well suited for the buyer seeking a full-time residence, a weekend getaway, or a destination farm.
Distances to nearby major metropolitan areas:
- Washington, D.C. ~ 60 miles
- Baltimore, MD ~ 95 miles
- Richmond, VA ~ 120 miles
- Philadelphia, PA ~ 200 miles
- New York, NY ~ 285 miles
The area around Cleremont is famous for its strong equestrian traditions, extensive history, and hunt country lifestyle. It has a well-deserved reputation as an idyllic escape and has long been favored by politicians and business leaders in Washington, D.C. and the Mid-Atlantic.
Upperville, the nearest town to Cleremont, is an easy ten-minute drive. Basic conveniences can be found here, including a gas station, post office, and the popular Hunter’s Head Tavern, an English style pub on the main thoroughfare. Another ten minutes to the east (20 minutes from Cleremont) is Middleburg, the “Nation’s Horse and Hunt Capital.” Middleburg has a compact but wonderful downtown with restaurants, galleries, shops, and a grocery store. At the center of town is the Red Fox Inn, founded in 1728 and reportedly the oldest continually operating inn in the country. Spread throughout the annual calendar are a number of events ranging from the Virginia Gold Cup steeplechase races to the Middleburg Film Festival, all of which make for a vibrant and engaging rural community. The wider Middleburg area is also home to over 40 vineyards and wineries, as well as the award-winning Salamander Resort.
All of these unique attributes, as well as one of the highest concentrations of conservation easements in the country, provide the land and farms in this part of Virginia with a remarkable sense of place and continuity rarely found today, much less in such close proximity to a major metropolitan area.
Upperville and Northern Virginia experience a true four-season climate. Summers are warm and humid, and temperatures in July and August average in the upper 80’s and low 90’s. Winter temps are generally in the 40’s and 30’s, although they frequently dip lower in January and February.
Spring and fall showcase Virginia at its best, and the brilliantly green countryside in May and stunning foliage of October are hard to compete with. During these seasons temperatures consistently reach the 70’s during the daytime and cool off into the 50’s at night. Average annual rainfall is 38 inches, and average annual snowfall is 22 inches.
The lands around Upperville and Middleburg were first settled in the 1720s and 1730s, and both the geography and the area’s residents featured in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Vestiges of Civil War history, in particular, can be found throughout the area, and the surrounding farmland was the site of the Battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville, important precursors to the Battle of Gettysburg.
The story of Cleremont Farm itself begins with a pair of mid-18th century land grants, which not long after being granted were purchased from their original owners by William Rust in 1761. Rust, an early settler of the area, had recently migrated westward from coastal Virginia and Westmoreland County. Shortly after purchasing the Cleremont land he built a one and a half story stucco patent house, which 260 years later still stands at the center of the farm. Members of the Rust family would later build the manor house at Cleremont in 1820, before ultimately selling the farm in 1849. Although the house would survive the Civil War, the rest of the farm was not so lucky, and most of the barns and fences on Cleremont were burned during the Union Army’s pursuit of Mosby’s Rangers.
Cleremont changed hands several times over the next hundred years before finally coming under the stewardship of George Horkan Jr, who purchased the property in 1958. Under the Horkans’ guidance, the main house and surrounding buildings were renovated, and a number of barns and farm structures were added. The addition of two neighboring properties expanded the farm’s footprint to 1,511± acres, and today Cleremont continues to be managed by the extended Horkan and Lindgren families.
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
1,511± acres, an approximate breakdown of which is:
- Hardwood Timber ~ 900 acres
- Stream Buffer / Wildlife Corridors ~ 130 acres
- Fenced Pasture ~ 450 acres
- Other (building sites, ponds, etc.) ~ 31 acres
Cleremont Manor House & Surrounding Structures: The handsomely proportioned, four-bedroom Cleremont manor house sits at the center of the farm beneath towering oak trees, and dates to 1820. Adjacent to the house is the original 1761 patent house (now a guest cottage), the farm office (formerly a kitchen house built in the 19th century), and a detached, fieldstone three-car garage. Behind the house there is a pool with stunning views over the ponds and up towards the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Bellefields Farmhouse: The stucco farmhouse on Bellefields Farm was recently renovated and has three bedrooms. The house is connected to the rest of the farm via internal farm roads but also has a private driveway off of Trappe Rd. The house is currently rented but would work well as an additional guest house or housing for farm staff.
Ross Farm Manor House: The manor house on the Ross Farm is a gracious Georgian-style home designed by noted local architect Billy Dew and built in 1993. The house has three bedrooms with en suite bathrooms spread out over a traditional and very comfortable center-hall floorplan. The elevated site provides the house and large patio with expansive eastward views over Cleremont and the surrounding farms. Additional features include a detached three-bay garage and whole house generator.
Additional Houses and Farm Buildings: Nearby the Cleremont manor house is a 14-stall gambrel roof horse barn, a farm manager’s house, equipment barn, and cattle facilities. Additional storage structures and hay barns are spread throughout the farm.
Cattle Infrastructure: The pastureland of Cleremont is made up of 33 fenced pastures. The creeks and perennial water sources have all been fenced as part of the effort to protect the Chesapeake Bay, and to carefully manage livestock impacts on the area’s crucial watershed. As a result of the fencing, all pastures feature one or more energy-free or spring fed automatic waterers. The pasture layout has been carefully considered to support an efficient rotational grazing plan, and in 2010 Cleremont Farm was the Region 1 winner of the Environmental Stewardship Award from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Currently, the farm supports approximately 200 cow/calf units along with 80 yearling stockers and 10 bulls.
Taxes in 2019 were approximately $24,000.
The recreational considerations of Cleremont are many, although significant opportunities exist to develop them further. Currently, there are miles of well-maintained trails that wind through the forested sections of the property and are perfect for horseback riding, hiking, running, mountain biking, or ATV use. Access throughout the remainder of the property is completed through a series of internal farm roads.
There is abundant wildlife on the farm and turkey, doves, deer, ducks, geese, grouse, black bear, bobcats, and fox are all present. The benefits of the stream buffer fencing extend well beyond the cattle and provide 130± acres of early successional and wooded travel corridors throughout the farm. Combined with the large timber tracts bookending the property, the natural habitat is extensive, varied and well connected, and its positive impacts are evident in the healthy and robust wildlife populations found at Cleremont.
Deer hunting on the farm is currently managed under Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) guidelines, and recent years have seen a noticeable increase in the size of the bucks observed and harvested on the property, as well as improvements in the overall health of the farm’s deer population. Opportunities also exist for the wing shooter, and the topography of the property would lend itself well to an owner looking to develop dove, upland, and/or waterfowl habitat.
Currently, equestrian activities are not a focus on the farm; however, that could be easily changed by reallocating a portion of the pastureland to paddocks and horse infrastructure. The incredible concentration of horse properties and stables in the area mean that access to industry-best resources for developing and maintaining equestrian properties is unrivaled. And for the fox hunter, there is no better home than Cleremont. The farm lies within the Piedmont Hunt, which rides out from the property twice a year, and currently maintains the trail network through the woods on the Bellefields Farm.
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