“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Kilmarnock in Lancaster County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Ditchley and Cobbs

Ditchley and Cobbs Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, November 9, 2009
1. Ditchley and Cobbs Marker
Inscription.  Ditchley, five miles northeast, was patented in 1651 by Colonel Richard Lee. The first house dated from 1687, the present house was built by Kendall Lee in 1752.

Cobbs Hall, near by, was acquired by Richard Lee, probably before 1651. A house was built there by Charles Lee in 1720; the present house is modern.
Erected 1930 by Conservation & Development Commission. (Marker Number J-88.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Places. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Department of Historic Resources series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1651.
Location. 37° 44.082′ N, 76° 21.756′ W. Marker is near Kilmarnock, Virginia, in Lancaster County. Marker is on Jessie Dupont Memorial Highway (Virginia Route 200) just south of Ditchley Road (County Route 607), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Kilmarnock VA 22482, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Morattico Baptist Church (approx. 1.3 miles away); Never Forget Garden (approx. 1.8 miles away); First American Woman Missionary to China
Ditchley and Cobbs Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, November 9, 2009
2. Ditchley and Cobbs Marker
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(approx. 1.8 miles away); Kilmarnock (approx. 1.9 miles away); Jessie Ball duPont (approx. 2½ miles away); Hughlett Point Natural Area Preserve (approx. 2½ miles away); Dr. Morgan E. Norris (approx. 2.6 miles away); Shiloh School (approx. 2.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kilmarnock.
More about this marker. Arnold’s 2007 Guidebook to Virginia Historical Markers, Third Edition lists this marker in Northumberland County. The county line meanders back and forth across Route 200 in this area but Google Earth puts the marker’s current location in Lancaster County. Ditchley itself, however, is in Northumberland County, as is Cobbs Hall.

Peter’s 1985 Guidebook, puts it in Lancaster County, but in town at Route 3, as do earlier guidebooks. At the marker’s original location Ditchley is about five miles northeast. At its current location Ditchley is just a little over 2 miles east. The location of Cobbs Hall is nearby, at the end of Route 690.
Regarding Ditchley and Cobbs. Entry for Ditchley in the 1915 book Historic Virginia Homes and Churches by Robert A. Lancaster, Jr. “Ditchley looks upon the Chesapeake Bay. About the year 1647 Colonel Richard Lee, the first of the famous Lee family in Virginia, settled on a plantation at Dividing Creek, Northumberland County, which he named Ditchley. He was succeeded there by his seventh son Hancock Lee (1653–1709), a prominent man in his day, whose first wife was Mary, daughter of the Honorable William Kendall, of ‘the Eastern Shore,’ and his second, Elizabeth, daughter of the ‘converted’ Puritan, Isaac Allerton II, and granddaughter of those stern New England worthies the first Isaac Allerton and ‘Elder’ William Brewster. Hancock Lee was buried at Ditchley, where his tomb may still be seen.

“The original
Ditchley, Northumberland County image. Click for full size.
circa 1900
3. Ditchley, Northumberland County
From the 1915 book Historic Virginia Homes and Churches by Robert A. Lancaster, Jr. Photograph is from his collection.
Ditchley house is said to have dated from about 1687, but the present homestead, situated about two hundred yards from the site of its predecessor, was built by Kendall Lee, grandson of Hancock Lee, about the year 1765.

“Ditchley remained in the Lee family until 1789, when William Lee sold it to James Ball, Jr. (1718-1789), who had married said Lee’s aunt, Lettice Lee (1731-1811), and it has ever since been the property of the well-known family of Ball. A recent owner was Captain James F. Ball, a gallant officer in the Confederate Army.

“There is still in use at Wycomoco Church, Northumberland Parish, a communion cup bearing the inscription, ‘Ex Dono Hancock Lee to Ye Parish of Lee, 1711’.”

There is no entry for Cobbs Hall in Lancaster’s book.

Both Ditchley and Cobbs Hall are in the National Register of Historic Places but their nomination forms could not be found online at last check.
Also see . . .  Historic American Buildings Survey entry for Ditchley. (Submitted on June 23, 2014, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 13, 2009, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 2,730 times since then and 75 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 13, 2009, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Current photos of Ditchley and the “modern” Cobbs Hall • Photo of Hancock Lee’s tomb • Links to and excerpts from National Register of Historic Places nomination forms • Can you help?

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Aug. 8, 2022