The town of Warrenton is known for its colorful history, horse shows, Main Street charm and gracious way of life.
Warrenton had its origin at the junction of the Falmouth-Winchester and Alexandria-Culpeper roads where a trading post known as the Red Store was established. At the time of the Revolution a settlement had begun, and by 1790 the first courthouse was built, a jail was erected and an academy named for Gen. Joseph Warren, a Revolutionary War hero, was founded. Richard Henry Lee, father of the Declaration of Independence donated 71 acres of land for the county seat, which was incorporated as the Town of Warrenton.
During the Civil War, the town was near the scene of battles and skirmishes during which the churches and schools were used as hospitals. Even the Black Horse Inn was used as a hospital during this time and also served as the courthouse for Fauquier County when the original burned down during the Civil War. Frequently occupied by Federal Troops, Warrenton was the object of raids by Col. John Mosby known as the “Gray Ghost'” who later made his home there and practiced law. A monument to Mosby stands beside the Old Courthouse. He is buried in the Warrenton Cemetery.
After the Civil War, Warrenton became a mecca for horse lovers. In 1883 the Warrenton Hunt was established and in 1900 the Warrenton Horse Show, which has achieved fame as the “Hunter Show of America,” began. In 1922 the first Virginia Gold Cup Race was run. Other hunts, such as the Cassanova and the Old Dominion, are located within a few miles of town.
The quaintness, tradition, and charm of bygone eras are apparent along Old Town Warrenton streets lined with historic houses and brick sidewalks.
Townsfolk gather on the steps of the post office or at a coffee shop to pass the time of day, perhaps pausing to listen as the old courthouse clock strikes the hour. A blend of old and new businesses offer antiques, furniture, rugs, toys, books, artwork, clothing, jewelry, equestrian supplies and gifts. Specialty shops and a variety of fine restaurants satisfy the most discriminating palates. A thriving farmer’s market offers home grown vegetables, preserves, baked goods, flowers and crafts. Located at 5th and Lee Streets, one block off Main Street, the market is open Wednesday and Saturday mornings from April through November.
For History Lovers
The area is steeped with tradition of the Civil War. For a personal tour please contact one of the area’s experts or visit one of our famous museums or battlefields.
Personal Tours by Dave Goetz, president of Mosby’s Confederacy, Inc.
toll free number (888) 681-5333 or (540) 351-6073. Please call to make arrangements for a day of Civil War history.
Two buildings, 1808 and 1823, house Civil War revolutionary era Indian artifacts and Col. John S. Mosby exhibits. One of the oldest remaining jails in Virginia. Free.
Warrenton and the surrounding area has become the center of steeplechase racing in America. Twenty four race meets and point-to-points provide participants and spectators with opportunities to enjoy the color of the sport at scenic locations. Horses that are trained and ridden by professionals competed for purses that totaled over $700,000 dollars last year. Bring a tailgate picnic and enjoy beautiful spring or fall days at the races. (Spring: February-May, Fall: September-November)
Warrenton, Middleburg Classic and Upperville Colt and Horse Show
Participate or be a spectator at some of the finest horseshows in the area. Warrenton (A-rated) Labor Day weekend; Middleburg Classic (May); Upperville (June).
Virginia Gold Cup Association Races
Great Meadow Race Course, Routes 17 and 245–only 10 minutes from the Inn Advance tickets required. (May and October)
Kelly’s Ford Equestrian Center
Trail rides, riding lessons, canoeing, biking and fishing.
Unwind and Relax
Treat yourself to a day of beauty and relaxation while staying at the Black Horse Inn. Masseuses are available on an on-call basis. Please call our innkeeper for further details and information, as appointments are recommended well in advance of your stay. Salon Emage Day Spa and Bella Vita Spa are located only minutes away from the Inn, where a full range of services are provided including:
Deep Pore Cleansing Facial
Salt Glow Scrubs
Make-up Consultation and Application
Hit the Fairway
There are a variety of interesting and challenging golf courses only a short drive away. Championship golf courses and practice facilities including driving ranges, practice greens and sand traps are available in the immediate area. For tee times please call:
Experience Nature’s Finest
County park with lake, great walking trails, picnic sites with grills, concessions, fishing boat rentals, pedal boats, Ropes Course for Corporate Teambuilding (540)788-4867
Located only 1 mile from the Black Horse Inn.
Hiking trails, riding trails, picnicing.(540)592-3556
Electric motor boats, row boats and canoes.(540)347-6888
Over 50 hiking trails in the Shenandoah Mountains, featuring Old Rag Mountain, Devils Staircase and White River Canyon.
In Warrenton – Less than 5 minutes from the Black Horse Inn:
Claire’s the Depot – Old restored railroad depot. Charming atmosphere and romantic ambiance.
Café Torino – Great Italian cuisine.
Molly’s Irish Pub – Pub atmosphere and light fare Entertainment on most weekends.
Approximately 15 minutes away:
Approximately 30-40 minutes away:
The Inn at Little Washington – Five Star Restaurant. Renowned cuisine throughout the world. Reservations required well in advance.
Griffin Tavern – Tavern atmosphere in the bar and fire dining in the restaurant. Outdoor seating. Great fun.
Vineyards & Wineries
There are over 50 farm wineries tucked away in valleys or nestled on the slopes of Virginia’s rolling hills. Virginia ranks seventh nationally among commercial wine producing states behind California, New York, Oregon, Washington, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Virginia’s wine tradition dates back to 1609 when Jamestown settlers fermented native American grapes and made the first wine in the New world. However, it was Thomas Jefferson, Virginia’s original wine pioneer, whose travels as ambassador to France led him to recognize the similarity of Virginia’s soil and climate to the great winemaking regions of Europe. Most recently, Virginia was named as the “nation’s most promising emerging wine region” by the Wine Spectator. Virginia Wines consistently grab the national and international spotlight from their competitors.
Wine tours are featured in the Virginia Wineries Festival and Tour guide. The guide includes detailed regional maps that make it easy to locate not only individual wineries, but also to plan trips which will include several wineries in close proximity, such as those prominently featured in the Blue Ridge Wine Tours. The guide also lists numerous wine festivals and special events which feature craft shows, live bands, grape stomping and more.