Cliff Walk Trail Marker #6
Designed in 1882 by famed architects Peabody and Stearns, Vinland Estate was first built for Catherine Lorillard Wolfe, a tobacco heiress. The home is believed to have been inspired by the poem “The Skeleton in Armor,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
In 1896, the home was sold to Mr. Hamilton McKown Twombly and his wife, Florence Adele Vanderbilt Twombly. After a short period of living in the home, the Twombly family enlarged the home significantly between 1907 and 1910, nearly doubling the home in size. Peabody and Stearns designed the addition again and architect Ogden Codman recreated the interiors.
In 1955 the Twombly’s daughter, Florence Burden, donated the home to Salve Regina University. The building now serves as a classroom and office building, and is known to the university as McAuley Hall, named after Catherine McAulley who founded the Sisters of Mercy.
The exterior of the home is designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style using red sandstone as the main building material. Around all of the windows are hand-carved grape vines and flowers. The interior of the home includes a large reception hall elaborated with gold leafing and large fluted ionic columns which flank the grand staircase, a ballroom, a large state dining room, a morning room and a small library, which originally was used by the Lorillard’s as a dining room. The library, designed in the Elizabethan style, with hand carved plaster ceilings and dark wood wainscoting is the only original room in the home. Vinland also holds a large servants wing that can be seen from towards the right of the building when viewed from Cliff Walk.