Arriving at Belmead is a little jarring...suddenly from the rolling hills and rushing streams rises this impressive structure that seems larger than life. When the mansion was built the front side faced the James River so that all could see the grandeur of the structure. If folks visited by land, they'd come up the hill and drive or ride into this covered entryway. The porch is inlaid tiles, the steps are hewn granite, the inner tiles are stone. Standing in the doorway I tried to imagine visitors arriving and was left empty despite the wonder of its construction.