Established by tobacconist T. C. Williams in 1926 this residential development on the western edge of the city was one of Richmond’s earliest planned suburbs. Laid out by planner and landscape architect John Nolen on a 444-acre tract west of the Belt Line Railroad, Windsor Farms strove to recreate the quintessential English village, centered on a common green and employing street names such as “Dover” and “Canterbury.” Virginia House, a reconstruction of two Elizabethan English manors, and Williams’ own home, the Tudor-style Agecroft Hall, reinforced the neighborhood’s Anglicized character.
Nolen’s plan for the subdivision provided 557 house lots. An intricate network of eleven miles of curving streets fashioned in circular and diagonal patterns resulted in lots ranging from half of an acre to 23 acres. The larger parcels encouraged the development of country estates and were placed at the southern end of tract abutting the James River. The smaller lots were clustered to the north along Cary Street and near the open common, which housed shops and services including a town hall, library, bank, school, and church. The common was approached from the north by a tree-lined boulevard called Windsor Way, while a diverse range of deciduous trees shaded each street and brick-paved sidewalk. Nolen provided two parks – Riverview Park in the south and Battery Park in the east – encompassing more than 50 acres, as well as woodland buffers in the southwest. The community was advertised as a combination of country and village living a short distance from the city.