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Lansdowne, Marble House featured on Urbanna tour

For the first time the Urbanna Christmas House Tour Committee is opening the doors to “The Marble House,” a Virginia Street landmark, for this year’s event taking place on Saturday, December 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Set back from the street and partially shaded by graceful old trees, the house has peaked the interest of residents and visitors for many years. “The house is just as wonderful inside as it is outside,” said house tour committee chairperson Betsy Bristow of Urbanna. “The design details, from the nooks and crannies that give the house so much charm, to the distinctive and completely original woodwork more commonly used in the late Victorian period, have got this year’s designers very excited. I know it will be a huge success and a lovely addition to this year’s Christmas House Tour.”

Patrons of this year’s tour will only have a short walk between featured houses. Located next door to The Marble House is Urbanna’s cornerstone mansion “Lansdowne,” owned and occupied by Col. and Mrs. Arthur Gravatt. Built around 1750, this Georgian-period home was the former residence of Arthur Lee of the Virginia Lee family. Since purchased by the Gravatts, Lansdowne has undergone extensive historic restoration and has since been opened to the public for many community events, including the annual Christmas House Tour.

“We are committed to maintaining Lansdowne as near to its original state as possible, and it has been a joy for our family to open the doors to so many visitors who have taken such great interest in the house,” said Diane Gravatt. 

Always spectacularly decorated for the season, Lansdowne cannot be missed. It will delight children and adults alike.

The James Mills Scottish Factor Store (Urbanna’s “Old Tobacco Warehouse”) and the old Middlesex Courthouse (Middlesex Woman’s Club) are also included on the tour, and all easy strolls, point to point.

Tickets for this year’s event are on sale for $15 at Bristow’s, Cyndy’s Bynn, Lowe Tide, and Make Thyme, all in Urbanna. In Kilmarnock tickets may be purchased at Papeterie on Main Street. In Richmond, Pigtails and Crewcuts, and Murphies in Carytown. Tickets also may be purchased on the day of the tour for $20.

For information about this year’s event, call 804-815-4639 or 804-832-8554, or visit

posted 10.24.2012

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