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Llangollen estate

Llangollen estate is a historic American horse and cattle farm located in western Loudoun County, Virginia on Trappe Rd. near Upperville at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Eight miles (13 km) from the town of Middleburg, the area is home to a number of prominent Thoroughbred-breeding farms and luxurious country estates.

Llangollen, which means Church of St. Gollen in the Welsh language, was originally part of a 10,000-acre (40 km2) land grant on which a two-story manor house was built in the late 1770s. Over the years, portions of the Llangollen estate were sold off and in the first part of the 1800s it was owned by Cuthbert Powell who died there in 1849. By 1930, only 2,200 acres (8.90 km2) remained when it was purchased by John Hay "Jock" Whitney as a wedding gift for his fiancee, Mary Elizabeth "Liz"Altemus.

Involved with show horses from a young age, Liz Whitney spent a great deal of money turning Llangollen into a major breeding and training center for hunt horses as well as for Thoroughbreds for flat racing and steeplechase events. She renovated and expanded the manor house and built tack rooms, six barns, including a large horseshoe-shaped barn, a stud barn and broodmare sheds. She had paddocks and a training track built on the property and eight employee and guest cottages. Under the name "Llangollen Farm", Liz Whitney was successfully involved for many years in the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing.

Liz and Jock Whitney divorced in June 1940 but she retained the estate and lived there for almost six decades until her death in 1988. During her latter years, the elderly Liz Whitney allowed the property to become run down but in 1989 the now 1,100-acre (4.5 km2) property was bought by Roy L. Ash and his wife, Lila who saved it from developers who wanted to tear down the buildings and replace them with a multi-home housing complex. Mr. and Mrs. Ash undertook a major restoration of the property and created a large cow-calf operation, raising upward of 300 Angus and Angus-cross cows. They earned wide recognition and received major awards for implementing environmental conservation methods that protected the water on the land through hardened low-water crossings and the creation of acres of riparian buffers that also provided habitat for wildlife.

Approaching his ninetieth birthday, in 2007 Roy Ash sold the Llangollen estate sold for $22 million to a corporation controlled by American businessman Donald P. Brennan and his wife, Patricia. Daughter Maureen oversees the property and has formed the VIPolo Club training facility.

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