From Tappahannock, intersection of Queen Street (Rt. 360) and Rt. 17 take Rt. 17 north 17 miles. Turn left on Rt. 640 and go one-tenth of a mile. Driveway is on right.
Elmwood was built about 1774 by Muscoe Garnett of Mt. Pleasant, who was one of the largest landed proprietors in Essex County, on land overlooking the Valley of the Rappahannock River and remains in the seventh generation of the same family today. It is the last surviving mansion of a family that was prominently involved in the political life of Virginia and of the nation during the 18th and 19th centuries.
The imposing Georgian house, laid in Flemish bond, is 100 feet long and 30 feet wide with three stories over an English basement. A molded water table bands the entire foundation. The hipped roof is broken by dormers and by a central projecting pavilion on the front entrance with a second floor Palladian window. Wood work in the house is thought to be by William Buckland. The elaborately paneled ballroom foreshadows Buckland's magnificent work in Annapolis. In the mid years of this century, the Garnetts undertook an extensive restoration, removing an 1851 stair tower, which had been added to the left of the main entrance, and Victorian porches on each side. Riverside and garden doorways were designed by architect Charles E. Spencer to replace the Victorian ones. Mr. and Mrs. Muscoe R. H. Garnett Jr., owners.