About Our Historic Virginia Beach House Inn

Built in 1895, Barclay Cottage Bed and Breakfast is one of the two remaining original beach cottages here in Virginia Beach, VA, and the oldest lodging in the Tidewater region still seeing guests.

The building originally was built by the Norfolk & Southern Railroad and was going to be a clubhouse for a golf club. The golf course never came to fruition, and the house and surrounding property was sold to the Williamson Family.  In 1916 the Williamsons sold it to Christopher Columbus Barclay and his wife and their daughter, Lillian S. Clair Barclay. Christopher Columbus Barclay was the first treasure of Virginia Beach. It is interesting that Lillian was their only child and the eleventh of their babies, and the only one who lived past infancy.

Lillian never married and ran the guest house with her parents for many years. She started tutoring children in 1922. As the number of students being tutored grew, the guest rooms became classrooms. In the winter, the guest rooms remained classrooms, and in the summer, the desk would be hoisted to the attic using a pulley over the rafter in the attic. Then beds were placed in the rooms for guests. The school closed in 1972, when Lillian was around 80. Lillian continued to live at the Barclay School/Cottage until she was 97.

Memorabilia from the home and school remain displayed in cabinets at the bed and breakfast.

Internationally known, Edgar Cayce a medical clairvoyant lived just down the street on Arctic Circle. He was friends with Lillian and was known to do readings and give lectures on the veranda. His Association for Research & Enlightenment is located on 67th street in Virginia Beach. 

The Barclay School was renovated and purchased by Peter & Claire Cantaneses in 1990.  They reopened Barclay Cottage as an inn in 1991. In 2003 Mary-Loise and Steve Lafond purchased Barclay Cottage and provided a home away from home for many guests. In 2014, Rich and Sharon Yenni purchased Barclay Cottage Bed and Breakfast. Rich and Sharon are natives of the area and have added a bit of a coastal twist while making it their home.