Industries Commercial Real Estate

Dover Hall opens as a special events venue

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Need a lot of space for a wedding or a fundraising event? The repositioning of Dover Hall, built nearly 20 years ago as a private residence, is official with the Goochland County mansion open for the first time this weekend as a special events venue.

The debut of the 33,000-square-foot, Tudor-style estate came during a tour and open house for the media and special guests on Sunday.

Designed by Dennis and Cindy Pryor, Dover Hall has a grand ballroom, solarium, garden room, library, pub bar, two kitchens, a dining room that can comfortably host up to 26 guests, 10 bedrooms and 33 bathrooms. The property is located on 55 acres in  pastoral Manakin-Sabot, a short drive from Richmond and Charlottesville and  two hours from Washington, D.C., and Virginia Beach.

Event producer Jennifer McBride partnered with the former residents in 2012 to recast Dover Hall as a private destination for entertaining. The couple had the house on the market for a while, but it didn’t bring a buyer. “I fell in love with the estate from the very start,” McBride said in a statement.  “Dover Hall is the perfect place to let your imagination run wild.”

McBride says she has assembled an in-house team of hospitality, culinary and special event professionals to provide concierge service. She points out that the ballroom at Dover can be extended with tenting into the courtyard, allowing up to 400 guests for a sit-down dinner. The 2,400-square-foot ballroom can accommodate up to 400 for cocktails and 125 for seated affairs.

Rather than insisting on set arrival times or minimum rental periods, McBride plans to customize each event to the needs and desires of the client. Guests of Dover Hall will enjoy full run-of-the-house throughout their stay.  Chef-prepared meals and excursions are among options for those entertaining at the estate.


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