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You are invited to visit the last surviving 1700's structure of its kind in Virginia's Northern Neck!

The story of this tavern and its relationship to the development of Northumberland County and Virginia's Northern Neck reflects what happened in countless court house villages throughout Virginia and the nation.

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A brief history

Rice's Hotel/Hughlett's Tavern is located on Route 360 in the heart of Heathsville's Historic Town Square. The Tavern sits directly behind the Old Court House and is one of the oldest surviving wood structures on Virginia's Northern Neck. The original three-room tavern was built by John Hughlett some 250 years ago, and is on both the Virginia and National Registers of Historic Places.

The Rice's Hotel/Hughlett's Tavern Foundation was created in 1990 by the Northumberland County Historical Society to oversee the property donated by Mrs. Cecelia Fallin Rice.

A group of volunteers grew, known as the Tavern Rangers, they took on the task of restoring and rebuilding the 1700s structure. Today, that structure stands tall, having been through a fire in 2009, and welcomes friends to dine at the wonderful cafe operated by the Tavern Culinary Guild, shop in the Heritage Arts Center Gift Shoppe, and enjoy the history we offer.

Since the restoration of the Historic Tavern, the Foundation has gone on to build and enhance the land behind it. Dan Purvis had a vision; to recreate the Blacksmith Shop; completed by volunteers in 2005 after Dan's passing, the shop contains a working forge. Many beautiful items are handcrafted by the volunteers.

The Tavern Meeting Building was completed in 2006 and is used for meetings by Foundation and community organizations. The building plays a large part in our fundraising events and is available for rent.

The Carriage House, completed in 2007 is the home for historic carriages and related artifacts. The carriages are proudly displayed at events and the space open to the public during special tours and upon request.


Want more historical information about the Tavern? Read the application for national historic status (PDF).


Updated: March 23, 2020



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Contact Information

RH/HT Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 579
73 Monument Place
Heathsville, VA 22473

Phone: 804-580-3377

Located on Route 360 behind the old courthouse.

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