Liberty Hall (Photo credit Robert A. Lancaster)

Home Site – Nelson County, Virginia

Dr. William Cabell (1699-1774) moved his family from Licking Hole Creek in Goochland County to the present day Nelson County in 1742 and settled near Swan Creek. Although not his original residence, Cabell built a home on Swan Creek. He named this area and named his home Swan Creek Plantation.

The site of Liberty Hall is three miles east of Route 56 on Route 626.  A few yards from where the house stood is the graveyard.  There is a monument and slabs marking the graves of Dr. William Cabell, his wife Elizabeth Burks, Nicholas and his wife Hannah Carrington, Nicholas, Jr., and other Cabells.


Dr. Cabell constructed buildings, including a mill (on Rucker’s Run) and warehouses and built one home then a second home closer to the river.  The original house was a 1 ½ story frame home with 2 rooms and a passage on each level. The home was built with timber from the property and wrought nails made on the place. Later in life, Dr. Cabell put the house on wheels and rolled it up the hill. 

In 1774, Nicholas raised the roof and made the house a full two stories and widened the main part of the house to encompass eight rooms instead of four. During the American Revolution, the name was changed to Liberty Hall, showing their patriotism. In 1790, a two story addition was added on the west side and connected to the main house with a closed passage.

Nathaniel Francis Cabell moved the house in 1837 to the site of the earliest home of Dr. William Cabell. Nathaniel tore down most of the house, saving only the 1790 addition to which he added several times. Around 1837, he built an east wing and passageway.  In 1839, a smaller room at the end was added, and in 1843 a passage and chamber was built on the south.  He also changed the approach from the south to the north necessitating the relocation of the offices. Nathaniel F. Cabell lived at Liberty Hall until a few years before his death in 1891. The house burned in 1895.

Timeline of Liberty Hall Ownership

  • 1742-1774: Dr. William Cabell
  • 1774-1803: Nicholas Cabell (1750-1803), the youngest son, inherited Swan Creek Plantation upon Dr. William Cabell’s death.
  • 1803-1809: Nicholas Cabell Jr. (1780-1809) inherited the home from his father.
  • 1809-1892: The home passed to his son, Nathaniel Francis Cabell (1807-1891).
  • 1895: House burned

Additional Photos

Photos Courtesy Bob Self