Historic Brentsville, VA

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Brentsville (Manasses) Jail
General Store  Historic Brentsville, VA
Brentsville (Manasses) Jail site plan
Union Church Historic Brentsville, VA
One rtoom schoolhouse, Historic Brentsville, VA
Courthouse in  Historic Brentsville, VA
The Brentsville Courthouse was constructed in 1822 as Prince William County's fourth courthouse. The design is typical of other 1800-style Virginia courthouses. The building sits on the highest ground, stressing its importance. The Courthouse was damaged during the Civil War, and in 1893, the County seat was moved to Manassas, as the railroad had transformed that town into the county's economic and social center.

The County Jail (or gaol) was also built in 1822. Debtors, runaway slaves, thieves and murderers awaited trial here in timber-lined rooms. The Civil War left the jail in bad repair, and although the County borrowed money from citizens, the numerous escapes are evidence that the building was never fully repaired. Unfortunately, even in current years, the Jail is in been in need of renovations. Years of termites, powder post beetle and water damage have taken their toll the structure. In the 1990’s, local residents convinced the County to take a more active role in the preservation and restoration of the Jail. The building has become the focus of many local ghost stories and legends. The internationally famous “Ghost Hunters” TV Show featured the building on a show in 2009.

Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre interprets the history of Brentsville and Prince William County through three centuries. Currently the Courthouse, Union Church and Haislip/Hall farmhouse have been restored. Work is underway for the restoration on the Jail and development of a Visitor Center and museum. Once completed, the site will give visitors a unique look into the history of not just Prince William County but Northern Virginia.

FunBeaches.com Site Map

1.) The old Jail, now undergoing renovations. 2.) Historic Brentsville Jail Site plan 3.) Union Church
1.) The General Store, still open for business 2.)1928 one room schoolhouse 3.) Courthouse