Hidden in the forest atop a long, winding driveway is this stately home.
Initially part of a 600-acre parcel of land that preceded the founding of the city of Alexandria, this large house contains an interesting history. The building now sits on 18 acres of a largely wooded landscape that is crisscrossed by narrow jogging trails and a picnic area.
Owners of this land have included William Darrell and his wife Ann Fowke Mason, Gerrard Alexander, Thomas Francis Mason, and the Angus Slater Lamond, whose family name is still associated with the house.
Lamond, a Scotsman who is said to have gone by his middle name, “Slater,” held several local titles, including master of the Alexandria-Washington Masonic Lodge. The Lamond House, originally known as “Gowan Brae” (Scottish for “Daisy Hill”) was built in the 1940s atop a hill that was home to a nesting bald eagle and several other woodland creatures.
The property was purchased by the Fairfax County Park Authority from Jacqueline Lamond in the early 2000s and the property has seen some changes in the interim. The chain that once stretched across the driveway has been replaced by a yellow metal barricade arm. The fountain that stands to the left of the house has been disassembled and covered over, and the once beautiful garden is no longer maintained.
The biggest changes are the addition of the playground and picnic area, along with the renaming of the property in 2012 to Gilbert S. McCutcheon Park, in honor of the former vice-chair of the Park Authority Board.
Know Before You Go
The playground in Gilbert S. McCutcheon Park and the Lamond House can be accessed much more quickly via a small path that runs into the property at the end of Admiral Drive. Parking directly outside the park may result in your car being towed, but there is ample street parking in the surrounding neighborhood.
If you have the time and inclination, the walk from the entrance at Fort Hunt is pretty and scenic, but the closest parking is about a quarter-mile away on Sherwood Hall Lane.
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