Nydrie Stud

$4,950,000 Esmont, VA 585± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

Located 20 minutes south of Charlottesville among the historic farms of Esmont, Nydrie Stud encompasses 585± acres of gently rolling Virginia landscape. Formerly home to a successful thoroughbred stable of the same name, the farm is anchored by a 19th- century 20-stall brick barn. The land features a balanced mixture of open pasture and hardwood forests, and in addition to the barn there are two tenant cottages and an assortment of farm buildings and modest improvements.

The farm is surrounded by other large landholdings, providing privacy and seclusion along with proximity to the conveniences of Charlottesville, airports, and major metropolitan areas. Richmond, Virginia lies one hour to the east, and Washington D.C. is 2 hours 15 minutes to the northeast. The open ground at Nydrie is currently used for hay production and is well suited to a number of alternate land uses, including equestrian, livestock, and vineyard. The farm is unencumbered by a conservation easement and holds significant potential for the conservation minded buyer.

Just the Facts

• 585± acres

• Located 20 minutes south of Charlottesville, Virginia

• Surrounded by other historic Southern Albemarle farms and estates including Enniscorthy, Esmont, Old Woodville, Guthrie Hall, Tallwood and Coleswood

• 45 minutes from Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport, 90 minutes from Richmond International Airport

• 20-stall brick barn built in 1898

• Rich equestrian history and the former home of the thoroughbred stable Nydrie Stud

• 200± acres of gently rolling pasture

• 385± acres of mixed hardwoods

• Multiple potential land uses including equestrian, livestock, and vineyard

• Potential location for a winery or event space

• Unencumbered by a conservation easement

General Description

Nydrie’s 585± acres encompass a well-balanced combination of fields, pastures, and forest. The farm has two entrances and can be accessed via a driveway off of Esmont Road, which boasts impressive views over the farm; or an older, Rhododendron lined driveway off of Green Mountain Road. 

The centerpiece of the farm is the historic main stable. Walking through the central section of the 122-year old barn and out into the interior courtyard, it’s easy to feel the pull of history and picture the stable busy with racehorses, grooms, and trainers. Also, within the barn complex are tack rooms, a workshop, and the stable offices. Although the barn is in need of renovation, the potential of the character-rich building remains fully intact and readily awaits a new owner and the next chapter in its storied history. Adjacent to the stable are two modest tenant cottages and an assortment of farm buildings and equipment barns. 

The surrounding fields and pastures can be more or less broken into four blocks: 47± acres of former pastures and paddocks immediately surrounding the stable and cottages; a 61± acre block of fields to the east, a 15± acre hayfield along Esmont Road; and an 88± acre block of hayfields and pastures on the western portion of the farm. The wooded acreage at Nydrie is spread evenly throughout the property and consists primarily of hardwoods that are well-established but in various stages of maturity. Riding and walking trails wind throughout the woods. There are two year-round water sources on the property: Totier Creek, which runs through the northeast portion of the property, and a three-quarter-acre spring-fed pond located near the western boundary. 

The topography on the farm varies gently between elevations of 500’ and 650’. High ground bookends the property to the North and South, giving the center of the farm a private and secluded feeling. On the Southern high ground there are several possible home sites with expansive views over the farm and out towards the Green and Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance. 

The farm is not under conservation easement, although many of the surrounding properties are. Nydrie was previously approved for up to 37 development rights by Albemarle County, and as such the farm is a very strong easement candidate for a buyer looking to explore potentially significant tax benefits.

Broker's Comments

Nydrie is a terrific farm for anyone looking to purchase a larger acreage property without extensive improvements close to Charlottesville. Its blend of history, privacy, convenience, and potential offers an excellent investment opportunity for the buyer looking to build on an existing framework but implement their own vision.

Learn about the locale


Nydrie is located in Esmont, just south of Charlottesville. The farm lies in the heart of the Southern Albemarle Rural Historic District and is surrounded by other noteworthy historic estates and farms including Esmont, Enniscorthy, Old Woodville, Coleswood, and Tallwood. In addition to its extensive history, this part of Albemarle County is known for its rural character and lack of development.  

The nearest town is Scottsville, an easy 10-15-minute drive to the southeast. Scottsville is a small town situated on the banks of the James River and traces its roots to the 1700s. The town features basic conveniences and a grocery store, as well as an attractive collection of stores and restaurants. Almost equidistant from Nydrie is the city of Charlottesville, which can be reached in 20 minutes and hosts a wide range of amazing stores, restaurants, galleries, and small businesses.

The closest airport is Charlottesville-Albemarle, 45-minutes away. The airport offers regular commercial flights throughout the eastern US, and is serviced by American, Delta, and United Airlines. The airport has a well-equipped FBO, and the 6800’ X 150’ runway easily accommodates private jet access. Other nearby airports are Richmond International (90 miles away) and Dulles (118 miles away), which provide convenient access to national and international destinations.  

Distance to nearby major metropolitan areas:

  • Richmond, Virgina ~ 85 miles
  • Washington, D.C. ~ 130 miles
  • Baltimore, Maryland ~ 170 miles
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ~ 270 miles
  • New York, New York ~ 357 miles

Distances to nearby airports:

  • Charlottesville-Albemarle (CHO) ~ 39 miles
  • Richmond International (RIC) ~ 90 miles
  • Dulles International (IAD) ~ 118 miles


Southern Albemarle County is characterized by its rich history and rolling, rural landscapes. Nydrie is part of the Southern Albemarle Rural Historic District, and several of the neighboring and nearby farms date back to the 1700s and the founding of the county. Many prominent figures in American history called this area home, and three of the first five American presidents lived within an hour of Nydrie. Jefferson’s Monticello, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is just 16 miles away and his outsized architectural, historical, and cultural influences are seen and felt throughout the area. 

The regional hub of Central Virginia is Charlottesville; a small, vibrant city known for its lively music, arts, and food & wine scenes. Charlottesville and the surrounding countryside routinely top “best of” lists in national publications and the area continues to garner recognition as a fabulous place to both live and visit. It is home to the renowned University of Virginia, which further infuses a level of sophistication and culture not often found in a city of Charlottesville’s size.

Immediately west of Charlottesville are the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park. The mountains are so named because of the isoprene released by the dense forests that cover the mountains, which lend the range a subtle, blueish hue when viewed from a distance. The mountains and their foothills are an outdoor lover’s paradise, with endless opportunities for mountain biking, hiking, fly fishing, and hunting. And no discussion of Central Virginia would be complete without mentioning its strong equestrian traditions. From foxhunting to eventing to steeplechase races in the spring and fall, Charlottesville’s reputation as horse country is well-deserved and celebrated. 

Central Virginia is also home to an exciting and dynamic wine scene, and several of the state’s top vineyards are located within 45-minutes of Nydrie, including Barboursville, King Family Vineyards, Pippin Hill, Veritas and Michael Shaps. Southern Albemarle itself is an emerging component of this, and Nydrie holds significant potential as a vineyard, winery, or event space. 


Central Virginia enjoys an agreeable 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, although they frequently dip lower for short periods 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. The average annual rainfall is 45 inches, and average annual snowfall is 16 inches.  


In the 1890s Harry Douglas Forsyth, a New Orleans sugar baron and financier purchased what was then known as the Tom Coles Farm. After renaming the farm Nydrie he went about building a massive 50-room manor house that was supposedly modeled after a Scottish baronial castle located on Loch Nydrie. To accompany the house, he built an equally impressive Victorian-style brick barn complex, which at the time of construction was considered one of the largest and most elaborate horse stables in Virginia.

The farm was later purchased by the Van Clief family in the 1920s and incorporated into their assemble of surrounding farms. Although the Nydrie house was never again lived in (and eventually demolished), the stables remained active and began a very successful new chapter under the Van Cliefs. The stable became known as Nydrie Stud and would produce several famous 20th-century racehorses, among them Jet Pilot, winner of the 1947 Kentucky Derby, and Natalma, the dam of Northern Dancer, winner of the 1964 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. The farm remained in the Van Clief family until 2008, at which point the property was sold to its current owner. 

Learn more about the property

Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

585± acres, an approximate breakdown of which is:

  • Open / Pasture ~ 200± acres
  • Wooded / Timber ~ 375± acres
  • Other (building sites, pond, etc.) ~ 10± acres

Deeded Acres: 585±
Total Leased Acres:
Total Acres: 585±


The main structure on the farm is the 20-stall, brick barn (c. 1898). Other improvements include two modest tenant cottages and an assortment of additional barns and farm structures. 


Annual property taxes in 2019 were approximately $6,300. 

Learn about the recreational amenities

Recreational Considerations

The recreational opportunities on the farm are extensive, but not fully developed. The equestrian potential is evident and could readily be restored and updated to accommodate a variety of pursuits. Numerous trails wind throughout the 375± acres of woods, and are perfect for hiking, riding, trail running, and ATV’s. Hunting is not currently a focus; however, the farm has robust deer, turkey, and dove populations, and seasonal waterfowl and black bears are also present in smaller numbers. 

The area around the farm offers a wide variety of recreational options. Ten minutes to the south is the James River, the longest river in Virginia, which has excellent fishing, canoeing, and waterfowling, not to mention swimming and floating in the summer. The Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park to the west are home to endless hiking and mountain biking trails, and the cool mountain streams offer excellent fly fishing for native brook trout. The options for horsemen abound for both novices and experts alike. And for those looking for quieter pursuits or a change of pace the surrounding countryside is filled with wineries, breweries, orchards, and farm shops. 

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