Marlbank Cove Neighborhood Spotlight

entranceYorktown, VA is a great place to call home. It’s full of character and culture and  its weather is mild.

All these things and more are reason enough to put down stakes in Yorktown but with so many wonderful neighborhoods to choose from it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. That’s why “Mr Williamsburg” writes these  Neighborhood Spotlight articles to introduce readers to the pros and cons of the area’s many unique locales. Today, we’re writing about the exciting Marlbank Coveneighborhood.

During my years of working in the Williamsburg/ Yorktown, Virginia area real estate market, I have many homes in a lot of area  neighborhoods.

Ever heard of the neighborhood, Marlbank Cove ? Chances are, probably not. This small neighborhood is nestled alongside of Wormley Creek between the adjacent Marlbank Farm neighborhood and Hornsbyville Rd near  the intersection of Ft Eustis Blvd and Route 17.

Marlbank Cove is a sought after community in the area. It was developed in the late 1980’s – mid 1990’s .Today, there are approximately 160 homes in the Marlbank Coveneighborhood. In terms of style, Marlbank Cove is filled with mostly  traditional colonials and transitionals on lovely treed lots. Two Story homes are  predominant but there are numerous ranches as well.  The lot sizes for single family homes range from approximately  .56  – .to over an acre with most averaging three quarters of an acre in size. Most homes were built  by  Ron Staples one of the areas best builders.

Why is Marlbank Cove so popular? It’s simple ~  its location in Yorktown , the pool, clubhouse and community pier,  top rated York County Schools, tight-knit community.and more.

Home Owner Association/ Amenities

Marlbank Cove  has an HOA that offers plenty of opportunities to participate: The HOA manages the pool, clubhouse, pier and common areas in the neighborhood as well as  numerous social events each year. The annual home owner association fee is $504

Location and nearby points of interest

Marlbank Cove  is  located in Yorktown and is easily accessible to RT 17 and I-64 for a quick commute to  Newport News, Ft Eustis, Langley AFB, Cheatham Annex, USCG Yorktown, Williamsburg and most other points on the Peninsula.

Whether you’re a history buff, water lover, or both – Yorktown offers plenty to plan a great day, weekend or full week of fun. You can brush up on American history, refreshing your memory about the pivotal battle in America’s fight for independence at several museums and historic sites. Take a break and enjoy the sounds of authentic fifes and drums. Fast forward to today and learn about working watermen on the river. Walk off an excellent meal with a stroll on the Riverwalk. You can also get out on the river yourself on the Schooner Alliance or a fishing charter. Click on the resources below to plan your visit.

Click here to see a map of area amenities and points of interest

Marlbank Cove Makes The Grade!!!

Marlbank Cove students are fortunate to attend  York County Schools.

Students in Marlbank Cove  go to York Elementary, York Middle and York High School . For parents desiring a private school option there are numerous options to choose from  including  Hampton Roads Academy and more. Explore private school locations here

York County has one of the top public school systems in Virginia. Money Magazine named York County schools one of the top 100 education buys in the country. There are also eight colleges and universities and three community colleges in Hampton Roads. The region has the highest concentration of colleges and universities in the entire State of Virginia.  Of the County’s adult population (25+), 92% has at least a high school diploma; 21% has at least a bachelor’s degree; and 16.4% has an advanced graduate or Professional degree.  The high levels of education among County residents are reflected in the types of jobs they hold. 40% of the County’s employed residents in 2000 held professional or managerial occupations.

By almost every measure of academic achievement – such as promotion rates, graduation rates, and standardized test scores – York County ‘s school students rank among the best in the state. As a result, York County is among the leading localities in the percentage of high school graduates planning to continue their education.

What’s For Sale in Marlbank Cove?

Over the last year, home sale prices in Marlbank Cove have ranged from a low of $334,000 for a 2500 square foot home built in 1986 to  $510,600 for a 4152 square foot five bedroom three bath home circa 1987. List price on the larger home was $550k .

Prices vary according to size, condition and age,. . The average market time for the four sales in the last 12 months was a very low 51 days , although that doesn’t include the DOM ( days on market) of a home if it is re-listed after expiring. You can see the homes currently for sale in Marlbank Cove here

Marlbank Cove is a deed restricted community. It’s residents are diverse in background, geographic origins and nature of their present business. Marlbank Cove boasts a strong association of home owners who work together to maintain the community as a place of pride for all it’s residents.

Marlbank Cove HOA website

piers in marlbank coveFrom the beginning of the planning stages the Marlbank Cove subdivision was planned as a residential neighborhood of the highest quality, setting new standards of excellence within York County, offering  beautiful and well maintained surroundings, large wooded lots, residences of highest quality and architectural beauty, and superior recreational facilities including water access for its residents.

Written into the covenants is the following: “The natural beauty of the land shall be protected and preserved to the greatest extent possible”.

Property Taxes
With a real estate tax of $0.6575  per $100 York County taxes are among the lowest in the Hampton Roads region. The annual taxes on a typical home in Marlbank Cove valued at $500,000 would equal  $3288.00 a year. To put that in perspective the annual taxes on the same value home in neighboring Newport News would be $5500.00annually.

Located in the heart of the Virginia Peninsula, York County stretches 27 miles from Williamsburg to Hampton and covers 108 square miles. The County is 20 minutes from Norfolk and less than an hour from Richmond. With more than 200 miles of coastline along the York River and Chesapeake Bay, waterfront property is abundant. The County is adjacent to James City County, the Cities of Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, and Poquoson. York County is part of the Hampton Roads Metropolitan Statistical Area that ranks 31st in population in the United States.

With the abundance of coastline on the York River and the Chesapeake Bay, locals here know how to have fun. Whether they’re swimming, fishing, boating, or beachcombing, living here on the coast not only provides wonderful recreational activities, it provides a temperate climate in which to enjoy them. York County is part of the Historic Triangle, which includes Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown. This diverse region is rich in significant historical sites, world-class cultural attractions, as well as beautiful golf courses. There are three golf courses, indoor movie theaters, a bowling alley, and an amateur theater in addition to the Yorktown Victory Center, Yorktown Battlefields & Visitor Center, Water Country USA, and numerous other attractions nearby. Other local attractions include: Busch Gardens and Water Country USA, Colonial Williamsburg,  Historic Jamestowne and Yorktown Battlefield Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center

Today, Yorktown is a living part of a national treasure known as the “Historic Triangle – Jamestown, Williamsburg, & Yorktown” which attracts millions of tourists each year.

While replete with history, York County is ever mindful of its role in the new century. It is an attractive suburban community that features one of the area’s highest per capita family incomes. The County also features one of the top public school systems in Virginia . In fact, Money Magazine named York County schoolsone of the top 100 education buys in the country

More than 40 percent of York County’s land is earmarked for federal use with installations such as: the US Coast Guard Reserve Training Center, the Colonial National Historical Park, the US Naval Weapons Station, Cheatham Annex, and Camp Peary.


imageThe York County  Parks and Recreation offers year-round programs for youth and adults. Available facilities include a 70 acre sports complex, 42 baseball/softball fields, 35 soccer/football fields, 36 tennis courts, 37 outdoor basketball courts, 5 outdoor tracks, 3 public boat landings, a 12-acre beach/picnic area on the York River, 2 neighborhood park sites, three smaller parks totaling 67 acres, and the newly renovated 545-acre New Quarter Park. Click here for more information.

Topography – Elevations in the 108 square mile county range from sea level to 125 feet above sea level. .

Top 10 Reasons to Like Living In Marlbank Cove  1. With abundant green space, a low crime rate, affordable housing, and one of the top public school systems in Virginia , York County is the community of choice on the Peninsula.2.Only a short drive to Yorktown  where you can enjoy Riverwalk with it’s shops , restaurants and for summer concerts…

3. Neighborhood pool, tennis courts and clubhouse

4. Less than a mile to the scenic Colonial Parkway and the York Public Library

5. History abounds at nearby Yorktown Victory Center, Battlefields & Visitor Center

6. All homes are custom built

7. Intimate community with just 112 home sites

8. Active social scene with neighborhood parties and more

9.. Low HOA fees—only $42 a month.

10. Low York County County taxes—only $3,280 annually on $500,000 home

Nearby Golf Options: Newport News Golf Club at Deer Run, Kiln Creek Golf Course

Nearby Fitness Options::YMCA,Cross Fit HROther Options

Nearby Boating Options:Back Creek ParkWormley Creek Marina, Dare Marina
Seaford Yacht Club

Closest Grocery Store: Food Lion, Farm Fresh, Kroger

Directions: From I- 64, Take Exit 250B for VA 105 East / Ft Eustis Blvd go 3.8 miles and turn left on Rt 17 , go 3/10 mile and turn right onto Battle Rd, that will take you into the Marlbank Cove neighborhood.

Talk back: Are you a current or past Marlbank Cove resident?  We’d love to hear about your experiences in the neighborhood. Please leave your comments below.

find the perfect neighborhood in williamsburg vaKeep looking: If you like Marlbank Cove , you might also like: The Lakes At Dare, The Greenlands, Running Man, Taylor Farms, Old Port Cove, Port Myers, Presson Harbor in Coventry, Avery Woods/ Kiln Creek or Bunting Point Estates

 View current homes for sale in Marlbank Cove

Click here  to subscribe to receive new listings for homes for sale in Marlbank Cove via email

Click  here to search for homes for sale in greater Williamsburg and Yorktown VA

If you have any questions and/or would like to view homes for sale  in Marlbank Cove  or other communities in greater Williamsburg or Hampton Roads, I am here to help. Contact me at 757.254.8136 or [email protected]

01graycmaWant to get an idea of what your Marlbank Cove home might sell for ? Want to discuss our “No Surprises” Program ? Fill out the form here

Do you live in Marlbank Cove  and want to keep up with home prices in the neighborhood ?

Fill out my “Nosy Neighbor Update” and keep abreast of sales !

Fast Facts: Marlbank CoveHomes built from: 1985-1994Price range: high $300s to  $500’s +

Home Size: About 2.000 square feet to 5,900 square feet, median 3200

Lot Sizes: ..50 to .1.25 acres .

HOA Fees: $42 a month

Homeowner Association Website

Schools: York County
York Elementary, York Middle , York High
Average SAT scores:
Total: 1583 – (verbal 533, math 530)

Property Tax Rate: .6575 cents per $100 of assessed value. Taxes on a $500,000 home would be $3,280 a year.

Home Styles: Transitional, Colonials, Two Stories and some ranches.

All homes were custom built by the area’s finest builders including Ron Staples


Community Demographics

Homes For Sale
Click for more details.


The Way it was in 1998
imageWho said real estate was a bad investment. Thirteen years ago (in 1998) this 2900 square foot new home in Marlbank Cove sold for $218,000. Today that home would sell for approximately $440,000.

A generally moderate climate prevails in Hampton Roads:
Annual Average Temperature 58.8°
January Average Temperature 38.7°
July Average Temperature 77.9°
Annual Average Precipitation 47.5”
Annual Average Snowfall 7.1 inches


imageThe neighborhood  lies in the center of a fascinating historical area.  The first York settlers started a village on the northern-most branch of Wormley Creek, now the grounds of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Yorktown Training Center, in the 1630’s.  York County, one of the original eight counties in America, was created in 1634, and Yorktown was established by the General Assembly as a tobacco port in 1691.
The current Marlbank Cove and Marlbank Farms area was assembled into “Wormley Creek Plantation” by Charles Carter. It was assembled from three previous landowners, one of whom was Lawrence Smith who laid out the Town of York.
In 1770 the 500-acre plantation passed from Carter’s son, David Jameson, who named it “Church Fields,” and later it was sold to Christopher Stedman who operated a mill there.  The remains of the mill dam can be found today in the woods between Marlbank Cove and Old Wormley Creek Drive.

On October 19, 1781, a mile or so away at the Yorktown Battlefield, the decisive victory in the American Revolution occurred, assuring American independence.  The area now containing Marlbank Cove and Marlbank Farms developments saw the foraging of George Washington’s men as they searched for game and other foodstuffs during the siege.
The Garretts of Williamsburg were the next owners of the plantation, which then included about 800 acres.  They renamed it “Marlbanks” and in 1837 built a manor house, which still stands.  Before passing the land to Tom Clark of Delaware prior to the Civil War, the Garrett family had increased the plantation’s size to 1100 acres.
imageIn the spring of 1862, the plantation, then known as “Clarks Farm”, was the base for the Union forces under General George McClellan who were establishing another siege of Yorktown, this time against Confederate forces protecting the Peninsula approaches to Richmond.   Period maps of the siege show the manor house serving as a Union field hospital, and McClelland’s headquarters standing to the east, near where McClellan Court now lies.  When Marlbank Cove was developed, it was very common to find artifacts of the Civil War — buttons, belt buckles, and so on.  One home site has a large pit believed to have been a field “refrigeration unit”.
After the Civil War, the plantation reverted by default back to the Garrett family.  It was sold to William Hughes in 1879, who sold 550 acres to L. R. O’Hara in 1945.  Mr. O’Hara restored the manor house, named Marlbank Farm, and developed Marlbank Farms subdivision beginning in the late 1940’s.

imageThe O’Hara’s or their descendants lived in the house until 1988.  When the manor house was sold and refurbished in 1988, more homes were built in its immediate vicinity.  Marlbank Cove subdivision began in 1985 and occupies part of the original plantation area.  The term ‘marlbank’ refers to the layer of marl (a conglomerate of mud, shells and clay) that lies below the soil surface along the York River.  Early settlers at Yorktown used marl as construction material, as can be seen today at Grace Church in Yorktown village, built in 1697.

Marlbank Cove During the Civil War

In May 1862 Yorktown again found itself surrounded by armies locked in combat.  The area around Marlbank Cove saw a great deal of military activity as a result.  Below are several photographs taken in the May 1862 time frame.
Union forces led by General George McClelland and advancing from the vicinity of Fort Monroe (which never fell into Confederate hands and therefore served as a Union foothold and staging ground for campaigns against Richmond throughout the Civil War) encountered Confederate forces, led first by General John Magruder and then Joseph E. Johnston, who manned a line of defenses spanning from the James-Warwick River confluence near today’s Fort Eustis to the York River, with concentrated forces around Yorktown.  The Southern troops utilized many of the same embankments first dug by British forces during the Revolutionary War.  Evidence of the Confederate works, especially shallow, long-running communications trenches, can be found in the woods of the National Park and running into Newport News Park.

imageA period map shows the location of Gen McClelland’s tent as being in the immediate area of Marlbank Cove, very close to where McClelland Court lies (the actual site appears closer to the intersection of Marlbank Drive and Three Point Court).  The picture to the left shows a close-up of McClelland’s tent, as well as a broader view of the encampment, which was named Camp Winfield Scott.

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Psst. I’m a Williamsburg/ Richmond and Hampton Roads VA real estate agent.

This post was authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of the Williamsburg/ Richmond/ Hampton Roads area and his expertise helping buyers and sellers in the local real estate market.

If you are a home owner searching for someone innovative to sell your home I would love to share my thoughts on marketing. You can read some of the stories I have written about the homes I have sold here.

Additionally, I have helped hundreds of folks find their dream home/ community and would love to help you find yours in Williamsburg, Yorktown, New Kent, VA Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Isle of Wight Poquoson as well as Richmond.

You can text/ call me by phone at 757-254-8136 or email  [email protected]

I look forward to serving your real estate needs!