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Hunter's Head Tavern



Hunter's Head

    

About Hunter's Head Tavern 

Family-friendly fare from the farm up the road. Hunter’s Head Tavern (huntersheadtavern.com) is an authentic English Pub that serves pub fare, fine dining cuisine and mouthwatering homemade desserts. At Hunter’s Head Tavern, you can experience organic local farm meats and produce harvested from neighboring Ayrshire Farm, which raises only Certified Humane® animals. From burgers, to roasted chickens, to veal and pork chops, Hunter’s Head Tavern provides a unique opportunity for customers to have confidence that their meals come from a farm dedicated to maintaining the health and well being of its animals. Hunter’s Head Tavern and Gentle Harvest are a part of the Ayrshire Farm Family.


The Carr House

The Carr House, now the site of the Hunter’s Head tavern, began life about 1750 as a log cabin built by Scotsman Steven McPherson on property he purchased from The Reverend Dr. Charles Green, an early settler and large landowner of the Virginia Piedmont in the early 1700’s.

The town of Upperville was founded by, and originally named for, Joseph Carr, a grandson of John Carr who had emigrated from Ireland to just south of Leesburg in the 1750’s. Joseph Carr purchased McPherson’s farm, mill and log cabin, and later opened a general store. In 1793, he received a grant of land, bisected by the Ashby Gap Road (now Route 50), which became “Carr Town” officially in 1798. At Joseph Carr’s death in 1828, he owned some 2,500 acres in the Upperville area. As his businesses flourished, Joseph Carr moved his family from the present structure to a larger brick house across the road, hence the historical name, the Old Carr House.

At the time of its last purchase in 1997, the upper-story addition to the original cabin (the east end of the building) was falling into the first floor because the original, one-story cabin’s ceiling beams in the east room were inadequate to support the second floor, added sometime in the early 1800’s. The central portion of the 1790’s addition (the area which today includes the bar and west dining rooms) was structurally unviable due to the removal of most of the roof ridge beam at some point in the house’s history; according to one builder who worked on the restoration, “I’ve been in this business for thirty-five years and I have no idea why it’s still standing.” Partly because of the missing ridge beam, and partly because of its proximity to the creek, the house had settled so much that most of the windows were inoperable and the doors unable to close, and the floor joists on the first floor needed to be replaced due to insect and moisture damage. The stone foundations and the fireplace in the west room had to be completely rebuilt.
It retains its original log cabin walls, fireplaces, mantels and, on the upper stories, its floors. The original house well is visible in the basement. The only change to the house has been the addition of the small kitchen at the back of the original building. It is rumored that the heavy gate into the walled garden is from the old Upperville jail. The house is reputed to be home to several ghosts, one, a middle-aged colonial man dressed in brown. He seems to be a happy spirit, possibly because the old Carr House is an Ordinary, after almost 100 years as a tenant house, antique shop, and office, once again serving food and drink to weary travelers.