“Herring Hall is a Georgian style brick house built in 1812 by David Greenlee and his wife Hannah Grigsby, who called it Clover Hill. It was purchased in 1901 along with the 600 acre plantation by William Chipley Herring, great grandfather of the current owner, Anne E. E. Herring.
The Herrings operated Herring Hall Inn and Restaurant for almost 50 years. Its location just north of Natural Bridge and its superb cuisine made it a popular tourist stop.
Herring Hall, a Federal style house with the Flemish bond brick pattern, is two and a half stories tall, with exterior chimneys. The third floor is lighted at each end with an elliptical multi-paned window.
The front entrance door is enclosed within a paneled arch, topped by an arched fanlight and flanked by sidelights featuring Pennsylvania Dutch heart motif. The arch is repeated in the paneled arch dividing the front hallway. Each room contains a non-working (for now) fireplace, all with original hand carved mantels.
Many of the common area rooms have extensive hand carved wainscoting as well. The house has not been appreciably altered except to add modern conveniences.
Still standing is the hexagon meathouse (smokehouse), formerly used to smoke country hams served in the restaurant. It too is of the flemish bond brick pattern, with decorative openwork in the bricks to allow smoke to escape. “
Excerpts from Old Virginia Houses – Shenandoah, by Emmie Ferguson Farrar and Emilee Hines
“Herring Hall is link with past”
The Roanoke Times
“This large brick house of many rooms was built by David Greenlee in the year 1832 (some records show 1812.) It is a handsome home situated on a public road leading from Lexington to Natural Bridge which, until recently, was National Highway No. 11, ten miles south of Lexington, and three miles north of Natural Bridge. It was the home of David Greenlee in which he lived with his family until his death in 1850.
It is an imposing building with really three stories and attic. The lower floor of which is on the level of the lawn and can be entered from a front door under a high front porch, or from the hall above. It is divided into many rooms, some of which have fireplaces and plastered walls and wooden floors, others with brick side walls and brick floors. The plastered rooms with fireplaces were evidently used for weaving, quilting etc., and the ones with brick floors and brick side walls as storage for fruits and vegetables, and one as a wine cellar.
The second floor is entered from a large front porch into a wide hall that runs entirely through the house to the rear lawn in which is a pretty lily pond, flower gardens and shrubs.
The hall is paneled on each side and up the stairway, with high wainscoting with a hand carved border above and below, and so is the dining room, which is very large and in one corner of which is a very handsome built in china closet. This same paneled wainscoting is around all rooms on the second floor and each room on this floor has a large fireplace with a handsome hand carved mantel of beautiful designs which are evidently walnut as the stair railing and banisters are.
The high ceiling, large rooms with their handsome wainscoting and mantels, together with handsome antique furniture, mirrors, and lamps with electric globes, present a beautiful picture in this lovely home. The floors are original heart pine.
This mansion is situated in the center of a large lawn with beautiful trees of many kinds, which extends to the highway along which is a high stone wall with stone steps into the lawn.”
Excerpts contributed by Edward T. Robinson