Northumberland County is named for Northumberland County in the United Kingdom.
Surrounding County Courthouses:
N – Saint Mary’s County, Maryland
Created: October 12, 1648
Hull Neck 1649 – 1679
Coan 1679 – 1680
Northumberland Court House 1680 – 1798
Heathsville 1798 – present
County Courts Building – Heathsville
Location: 220 Judicial Place / Northumberland Highway
Built: 1996 – 1997
Architect: William C Newman
Contractor: NSC Construction
Description: The building faces northeast and is a one story white colored brick, concrete and glass structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of Heathsville to the west of the courthouse. The north front has a projecting central tower rising above the roof line and with an arch and glass entrance on each of the three sides. The windows are horizontal and the roof is hipped. The building houses the County Circuit Court, County General District Court and County Juvenile Court of the 15th Judicial Circuit. The building is named as the Northumberland County Courts Building.
Note: The contractor, NSC Construction went bankrupt during the construction of the courthouse and the bonding company completed the construction.
County Courthouse – Heathsville
Location: 72 Monument Place / Judicial Place
Built: 1850 – 1851 / 1900 – 1901
Style: Queen Anne and Colonial Revival
Architect: John Donohoo / Bartholomew Smith
Contractor: John Donohoo / B F Smith Fireproofing Company
Description: The building faces east and is a two story white colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Heathsville. The building has a raised basement. The east front has wide porch supported by four sets of double columns rising to a balcony on the second story. The first and second story entrances are arched. On the roof is a central dormer with small window. Plain pilasters define the corners of the building, and the eaves are embellished with a heavy wooden cornice with oversized modillions. The roof is hipped. In the interior, the building is bisected by a central passage leading to offices on the main story. A handsome plaster ceiling medallion probably dating to 1851 remains in the central passage. The second story accommodates the courtroom and a broad lobby. The old courtroom has walls which are lined with old tablets listing the names of many early county leaders. The building was remodeled in 1900 to 1901. The architect was Bartholomew Smith and the contractor was B F Smith Fireproofing Company. The annexes on the north and south sides of the building were built in 1964 and 1974. The building houses the county administration.
Note: The courthouse when built in 1850 to 1851 by John Donohoo, was a two and a half story brick structure that resembled a typical plantation dwelling rather than a public building.
Note: The old jail is located on the west side and was built in 1839, and on the eve of its closure in 1958 it was the third oldest county jail in Virginia still in use. The interior remains as it was when the county transferred inmates to the new jail, completed in 1960 on a parcel fifty yards south. Now vacant and essentially unaltered, the old jail is owned by the Northumberland Historical Society.
See: National Register of Historic Places – Heathsville Historic District
See: The 15th Judicial Circuit includes Caroline County, Essex County, Fredericksburg, Hanover County, King George County, Lancaster County, Richmond County, Spotsylvania County, Stafford County and Westmoreland County.
History: The county was created as in 1648 and Heathsville, then called Northumberland Court House until 1798 became the county seat in 1680. The first courthouse was built in 1660 to 1663 in the Hull Neck area. In 1679, the courthouse was moved to Coan along the Coan River near Heathsville. The second courthouse was a plain framed structure with plaster interior designed and built by John Huglett in Heathsville in 1680 to 1681. The third courthouse was a brick structure1 built by Joseph Humphryes in 1703 to 1706. The fourth and present courthouse was built in 1850 to 1851 and substantially remodeled in 1900 to 1901. The County Courts Building was constructed in 1996 to 1997.
County Courts Building - Heathsville
County Courthouse – Heathsville
Old County Jail – Heathsville
Photos taken 2013