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Chantilly is a census-designated place (CDP) in western Fairfax County, Virginia. The population was 24,301 as of the 2020 census. Chantilly is named after an early-19th-century mansion and farm, which in turn took the name of an 18th-century plantation that was located in Westmoreland County, Virginia. The name “Chantilly” originated in France with the Château de Chantilly, about 28 miles north of Paris.
Located in the Northern Virginia portion of the Washington metropolitan area, Chantilly sits approximately 25 miles (40 km) west of Washington, D.C., via Interstate 66 and U.S. Route 50. It is located between Centreville to the south, Herndon and Reston to the north and northeast, respectively, and Fairfax 7 miles (11 km) to the southeast. U.S. Route 50 and Virginia State Route 28 intersect in Chantilly, and these highways provide access to the Dulles/Reston/Tysons Corner technology corridor and other major employment centers in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Chantilly was home to a number of colonial plantations in the 1700s, including the Sully Plantation (now the Sully Historic Site) built by Richard Bland Lee I. Other plantations included George Richard Lee Turberville’s “Leeton Grove” (originally a 5,000+ acre plantation, the main house of which still stands at 4619 Walney Rd.), the John Hutchison Farm, and the Chantilly Plantation, after which Chantilly is named. Cornelia Lee Turberville Stuart, who was born at Leeton and was the daughter of George Richard Lee Turberville and Henrietta Lee, inherited a portion of Leeton in 1817 from her father. Stuart and her husband Charles Calvert Stuart, whom she had married in 1816, constructed the Chantilly Plantation and named it after the Westmoreland County plantation owned by her grandfather, Richard Henry Lee, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. During the Civil War, federal troops destroyed by fire the Chantilly Plantation manor house. One building remains, a stone house across Route 50 from the Greenbriar Shopping Center. While it is not clear what this stone house was used for, most historical evidence suggests it was probably a plantation overseer’s quarters during the antebellum period, and a tavern or boarding house following the war. After the war, Cornelia Stuart, who had become deeply in debt, sold her 1,064-acre (431 ha) Chantilly estate. The advertisement for the sale referenced several “tenements”, one of which was the Stone House.
The village grew during the 19th century, particularly following the construction of the Little River Turnpike to Winchester.