||Moncure Conway Foundation|
The Moncure Conway House, Falmouth, Virginia
The Moncure Conway House is located within the Falmouth Historic District, overlooking the banks of the Rappahannock River. This two-story, brick house was constructed in the Federal style in 1807. The Federal architectural style was popular in the United States from 1780 to 1830 and was named for its association with the early American republic. Like other Federal style buildings, the Moncure Conway House has a symmetrical appearance with five bays on the façade, six-over-six and nine-over-nine double hung sash windows, and refined, classical detailing. A large, semi-circular fanlight is located above the main entrance facing River Road. The brickwork on the primary elevation was completed in decorative Flemish bond. The roof is covered in slate and features parapet gable ends.
Although representative of the Federal style in many respects, the Moncure Conway House includes an unusual feature called a "flounder" end. More often seen in Alexandria, Virginia and St. Louis, Missouri, the flounder house form, which is sometimes referred to as a "half house," visually appears to be an accidental element but is quite deliberate. The term flounder refers to the distinctive outline of an end wall and roofline, which is shaped like an inclined plane. If viewing the Moncure Conway House from the front, the building appears to be a symmetrical, central hall plan dwelling. However, if viewed from the east elevation, the flounder end gives the appearance that the house has half of a gable roof.
The Moncure Conway House retains a great deal of its original architectural fabric. Although the property has endured the Civil War, changes of ownership, and periods of abandonment and flooding, the property remains in excellent condition today with much of the historic, architectural features intact.
Read "Watch For The Morning", Moncure Daniel Conway, Falmouth’s Southern Emancipationist, by Albert Z. Conner Jr.