For Visitors

Tour Red Hill

Red Hill is Patrick Henry's last home and burial place. Take this "virtual tour" for a look at some of Red Hill's highlights. Visitors can view an introductory fifteen-minute video on Patrick Henry's career and his life at Red Hill before visiting the Red Hill Museum. There follows a tour of Red Hill's seven historic buildings, the Patrick Henry grave site, and the grounds overlooking the Staunton River Valley, which appears much as it did in Henry's time. Some of Red Hill's special programs include an annual 4th of July celebration which features Revolutionary War-era re-enactors and concludes with an evening fireworks display, and a Living History Day for local school children.

Group tours (10 or more persons) of Red Hill are available by appointment. See the Visit Us page for days and hours of operation and fees for admission.

Red Hill site map.Orchard -- A 1798 poem by Patrick Henry's daughter Martha Catharina Henry described "reddening apples" on "full thriving trees" that stood "close to the gates" at Red Hill.  The orchard on the east side of the entrance road to Red Hill is being restored in cooperation with the Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Plantation, which owns this part of Henry's original plantation.Commonwealth Courtyard -- Patrick Henry's bust by sculptor F. William Sievers stands with the American flag, the Virginia flag, the Grand Union flag that flew over the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg during Patrick Henry's terms as Virginia's first elected governor from 1776 to 1779.  The other flags represent the seven states admitted to the Union from the vast territory that comprised Virginia in 1776:  Kentucky in 1792, Ohio in 1803, Indiana in 1816, Illinois in 1818, Michigan in 1837, Wisconsin in 1848, and West Virginia in 1863.  The Commonwealth Courtyard was made possible by the Barksdale-Dabney-Henry Fund.ParkingVisitor Center -- An informative orientation film introduces the life and times of the great patriot, and the E. Stuart James Grant Museum Room presents the world's largest collection of Patrick Henry artifacts.  It features Peter Rothmermel's large painting of "Patrick Henry Before the House of Burgesses," delivering his 1765 speech against the Stamp Act.  The Museum Shop offers a variety of books, gift items, and souvenirs.  The Museum Shop is open daily and via the internet at www.redhill.org or www.PatrickHenry.com.  Visa and MasterCard are accepted.Quarter Place Trail -- Red Hill's agricultural history as a tobacco plantation is presented along the Quarter Place Trail.  The trail is half a mile long and embraces features 6 through 10.Quarter Place Cabin -- A reconstructed log cabin is the starting point for the interpretive and recreational Quarter Place Trail.Old Cabin Foundations -- Immediately northwest of the Quarter Place Cabin are the stone foundations of two dependents' cabins that survived into the twentieth century.Tobacco Curing Barn -- Throughout the twentieth century, bright-leaf tobacco leaves were tied to poles hung in log barns and cured with heated generated by wood stoves.Ordering Pit -- To achieve the proper humidity to prepare tobacco for market (a process called "ordering"), the newly harvested leaves were placed overnight in a sheltered ordering pit adjacent to the curing barn.  The ordering pit is visible from the Quarter Place trail next to the surviving stone foundation of the barn.African-American Cemetery -- The African-American cemetery at the western end of the Quarter Place Trail is maintained under a management agreement with Meade-West Vaco Corporation, which owns the adjacent property that was part of Patrick Henry's original plantation.Cool Spring Trail (under construction) -- Plantation industry will be presented along the Cool Spring Trail, which starts east of the Visitor Center and will terminate at the Garden Spot Overlook.  Features visible from this trail (when completed) include the natural spring at the head of the creek, a huge yellow poplar that dates from Patrick Henry's day, archaeological sites of the plantation's distillery, laundry, and brick kiln, the memorial grove near Patrick Henry's grave, and the Garden Spot Overlook.Orator's Stage -- Picnic tables are located near the Orator's Stage, which is used for public events on Independence Day and other special occasions.Ice House Site -- An ice house associated with John Henry's and Lucy Henry Harrison's additions was dug into the hillside west of the original Patrick Henry House.Law Office -- After completing the famous Richard Randolph infanticide case and the British debts controversy in 1793, Patrick Henry curtailed his law practice when he retired to Red Hill, his health too fragile for the rigors of the county court circuit.  Henry met in the Law Office with clients who sought his advice.  It also served as a quiet place for Henry's daily meditations, a guest house for family and friends, and classroom and sleeping quarters for the young men who studied law with Patrick Henry.  Probably built by Richard Marot Booker as an overseer's house, the Law Office stood about twenty yards north of its present site in Henry's day and was moved several times after his death.  William Wirt Henry used it as his office.  Lucy Henry Harrison converted it into a dwelling after her mansion burned in 1919.  The Law Office was restored on its present site in 1961.  Furnishings in the Law Office include an eighteenth-century desk and document press and a replica of John Henry's 1770 Map of Virginia.  The map table with rotating top and arms that support maps and large documents is a replica of the original, preserved at Scotchtown, that Henry may have inherited from his father.Osage Orange Tree -- Sixty-five feet tall, with branches that span more than ninety feet, the Osage orange tree (Macular pomifera) ear Patrick Henry's House is the largest of its species in America, according to the American Forestry Hall of Fame, and may be three hundred years old.  Named for the Osage tribe, of Missouri, who used is dense wood for their bows, the Osage orange was known to French explorers as bois d'arc (wood of the bow), sometimes corrupted to bodark.  The thorny Osage orange tree was popular in the east after the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-1806, when it was cultivated in fencerows that were &quotpic tight, horse high, and bull strong."  The yellow-green fruits of Macular pomifera grow on female trees and are 3 to 5 inches in diameter with 200 to 300 seeds.Memorial Grove -- Shaded by honey locust trees, the memorial grove offers visitors a quiet contemplative area near the grave of Patrick Henry.Patrick Henry's Grave -- Patrick Henry was sixty-three when he died sitting in a chair in his bedroom at Red Hill on June 6, 1799.  His death was caused by an intestinal blockage called intusseption, which typically occurs if the small intestine folds itself into the large intestine.  In accord with medical practice of the day, Dr. George Cabell administered a dose of liquid mercury, a heavy but poisonous metal, in the desperate hope that its weight might clear the blockage.  Carved on Patrick Henry's gravestone are the words "His Fame His Best Epitaph."  Buried beside him is his second wife, Dorothea Dandridge Henry.  Other marked graves include those of John Henry, Patrick and Dorothea Henry's youngest son, who inherited Red Hill, and his wife Elvira McClelland Henry.Herb Garden -- Herbs were grown on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century plantations for use in medicines and cooking.  The Herb Garden was installed as a memorial to Nancy Casey Kelly.  A small Healing Garden of medicinal herbs is situated east of the Slave Cabin.Kitchen -- Eighteenth-century kitchens were often built away from the main house to reduce the risk of fire and to keep heat and strong aromas out of the house.  The reconstructed hearth, warming oven, and chimney replicate the original kitchen that Lynchburg architect Stanhope Johnson examined when the structure was removed for the 1911 expansion of the Henry house.Patrick Henry House -- Patrick Henry's plantation house was a simple one-and-one-half story structure built by Richard Marot Booker in the 1770s.  The house has three rooms downstairs and two upstairs where younger children slept.  During Patrick Henry's years at Red Hill the house accommodated between nine and eleven family members.  Furnishings displayed in the house are eighteenth-century period pieces, replicas of period pieces, or pieces closely related to the history of Red Hill.  Fire-safety regulations prohibit visitors from going upstairs.  To the left of the front entry hall is the main room, with tables and chairs that could be moved about for any desired purpose.  Dorothea Spotswood Henry's portrait by James Sharples hangs above the mantle.  Named for her mother she was one of Patrick Henry's two daughters who were married in this room.  The small room to the right of the entry hall is outfitted as a 1790s bedroom for the Henry daughters, although this space may have been added in 1833 to connect Patrick Henry's house with the addition built by his son John.  From the porch on the east end of the house one enters Patrick and Dorothea Henry's bedroom.  Family tradition has it that Henry added this room "to hear the patter of rain on the roof", but it may date to his sone John Henry's 1833 additions.  A bed with dams curtains was listed in the inventory taken after Patrick Henry's death.  The Chippendale corner chair is a replica of one in which Henry died on June 6, 1799.  The house was reconstructed on its original site in 1957 through the generosity of Eugene B. Casey.Carriage House -- Horses were vital for transportation and farming in the eighteenth-century.  The carriage house, reconstructed near its original site, reflects the importance of horse-power in Henry's day.Blacksmith Shop -- Essential to any plantation for repairing tools and shoeing horses, the blacksmith shop at Red Hill stood at an unknown location within a pleasant walk of the main house.  The Blacksmith Shop was made possible by the Barksdale-Dabney-Henry Fund.Greenhouse Site -- Archaeological excavations in 2001 revealed this "macadam" stand surface, which may have been the floor of a greenhouse or orangery.  Similarly paved walks were used in the boxwood maze.Smokehouse -- Preserving meat by curing it was essential in Patrick Henry's day.  This reconstructed smokehouse has a dressed stone floor, stone-lined fire pit, and hooks for hanging hams, bacon, and other meats.  In recent years, as part of the Living History programs at Red Hill, volunteer docents of the Patrick Henry Auxiliary have used this structure to cure and smoke delicious hams for their annual holiday dinner.Slave Cabin -- Rebuilt in 1961 of logs salvaged from damaged original cabins, a cabin like this was home to Harrison and Milly, coachman and cook for the Henry family.  Their photograph is shown inside, along with tools for spinning and weaving wool and flax:  a large spinning wheel, a wool wheel, and a weasel, or clock reel, used to measure lengths of yarn.Boxwood Maze -- John and Elvira Henry aligned the path through these American boxwoods with the porch of their 1833 addition to Patrick Henry's house.  Bricks laid in the lawn west of the house trace the outlines of that addition and the west wing of Lucy Henry Harrison's 1911 mansion.  Archaeological investigations in 2001 revealed that the curving paths on either side of the central walkway once were "paved" with layers of rock similar to the surface of the Greenhouse Site.Garden Spot Overlook -- Patrick Henry described his plantation at Red Hill as "one of the garden spots of the world."  The scenic vista of fields and forest in the Staunton River Valley has changed little since Henry's day.Lookout Tower Site -- During the growing season at Red Hill, Patrick Henry rose early and "stood upon an eminence and gave orders and directions to his servants" working in the fields along the Staunton River.Plantation Garden -- Corn, beans, flax, tobacco, and common eighteenth-century vegetables and flowers are cultivated each year by the Master Gardeners of Charlotte County.Whistle Shop -- About 1905 the Virginia Railroad company offered whistle-stops for major landowners in exchange for right-of-way to extend its tracks through the Staunton River Valley.  The stone pillars and wrought-iron gates are associated with the 1911 Harrison mansion.River Trail Shelter (partially complete) -- The river shelter serves the interpretive and recreational walking trails that will connect Red Hill with the Staunton River.Staunton River Trail (under construction) -- Features on this trail will include the sites 33 - 37.Woodland Indian Site -- Archaeological investigations in the 1950s confirmed the existence of a seasonal camp used by the Dan River peoples in the woodland period before European settlement.Falling River -- Patrick Henry kept a fish trap in the Falling River, which was too shallow for navigation.Bateaux Landing -- Hogshead of tobacco and other heavy agricultural commodities could be readily shipped to market aboard large wooden canoes called bateaux.Ferry Overlook -- When Patrick Henry purchased Red Hill in 1794 he also boughtStaunton River -- The Roanoke River rises in the mountains west of Salem, Virginia, and empties into Albemarle Sound in North Carolina.  The middle section of the river - from Smith Mountain Lake to Buggs Island Lake - has been known as the Staunton River since the eighteenth century.

 

"Patrick Henry Before the Virginia House of Burgesses"

Red Hill houses the largest collection of Patrick Henry memorabilia in the world. This painting, by Peter Frederick Rothermel, is the best-known piece in the Red Hill Museum and one of America's most famous historical paintings. In the painting, Patrick Henry delivers his famous "If this be treason, make the most of it!" speech, declaring his opposition to King George III's Stamp Act of 1765. A decade later, as revolutionary sentiments surged in America, Henry declared "Give me liberty or give me death!" to the Virginia Convention gathered at St. John's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia.

 

Osage Orange Tree

Both a National Champion and a member of the American Forestry Hall of Fame, this Osage orange tree has an astonishing eighty-five foot span and stands sixty feet high. It is a striking feature of the grounds at Red Hill, which Patrick Henry referred to as "one of the garden spots of Virginia."

 
Patrick Henry Home

Mr. Henry's Reconstructed Home

Patrick Henry's home at Red Hill has been reconstructed on its original site. The home is a simple one and one-half story structure that dates from the 1770s. With its three rooms downstairs and two upstairs--a children's loft--this was home for the Henry family (at one point, as many as twenty family members lived under this roof!). The furnishings on display in the house and other buildings include genuine eighteenth-century period pieces.

 
Patrick Henry Law Office

Law Office

When Patrick Henry moved to Red Hill in 1794, he was in semi-retirement from his law practice. Having served as Governor of Virginia for five terms, and in failing health, Henry saw some clients here but used the office chiefly to instruct his sons, nephews, and a grandson in the law. The building may also have been occasionally used to house guests of the Henry family.

 

The Cemetery

Patrick Henry died on June 6, 1799, at the age of 63 and is buried in the family cemetery at Red Hill. On his gravestone are carved the words, "His fame his best epitaph." Beside Patrick Henry is buried his second wife, Dorothea Dandridge Henry. Other family members are interred in the cemetery in graves both marked and unmarked. Follow the link to read more about the Dorothea Henry Chapter of the DAR.

 

Road to the Revolution

Road to the Revolution

The Road to Revolution Heritage Trail is a Virginia state heritage trail that was created by the Virginia legislature to honor the men and women who helped to form our nation.

The trail includes sites all across Virginia that played an important role in the Revolution and founding of the Republic. Red Hill is one such important historic site, and many other landmarks from Patrick Henry’s life are represented on the Trail as well.

In addition to historic sites from Henry’s life, the Road to Revolution brings together locations from the lives of many different patriots, Henry’s contemporaries, colleagues, and cohorts in Revolution. An intrepid traveler might follow the Road to Revolution from Patrick Henry’s home at Red Hill and cross Virginia seeing sites of significance in the lives of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Mason, and Marshall among others.

If you are visiting Red Hill in order to buff up your knowledge of the Revolution and the Founding of the Nation, the Road to Revolution website can be a great resource to help you plan your trip. See what other important historic sites are located near us, and where else you might want to pay a visit while you are in Virginia!

Road to Revolution roadtorevolution.com

 

Getting Here

Directions

Red Hill is located in the countryside of southern Virginia. The nearest town is Brookneal, VA. You may find that your cell phone service is patchy as you get nearer to Red Hill, so if you are relying on your phone to guide you to us you might want to download an offline version of a map of the area. However, your GPS should continue to work as long as you input the address before leaving signal range. For your GPS type in this address: Patrick Henry National Memorial, 1497 Red Hill Road, Brookneal, VA 24528 or use google map below. In case you would prefer written directions, here is how to reach us from a few major locations nearby:

From Lynchburg (About 38 miles which will take approximately 50 minutes) Take 501 South. Continue on 501 South to Brookneal. At the STOP light in Brookneal continue straight onto 40 East (Wickliffe Rd.) Travel 8/10 of a mile and turn right onto Dog Creek Road. Stay on this road for 3 miles and then turn right onto Red Hill Road. Travel one and a half miles before turning right into the Visitor Center area.

From Richmond (About 100 miles which will take approximately 2 hours) Take 76 South to 360 West toward Amelia. Continue on 360 West for 57.7 miles then take the US 15 Bus ramp to Keysville. Continue straight for 1.7 miles on 15 Bus, then turn right onto 40 West for 9 miles to Charlotte Court House. Turn left to continue onto 40 West and continue for 15.6 miles. Turn left onto Mount Calvary (1.8 miles) and left onto Patrick Henry Road (.8 miles). Turn right onto Red Hill Road. Travel one and a half miles before turning right into the Visitor Center area. Print these directions in full from Google Maps here: from Richmond 

From Raleigh (About 112 miles which will take approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes) Take 40 East to NC 147 North to US 501 North to Brookneal, VA. At the STOP light in Brookneal turn right (cross over RR tracks) onto 40 East (Wickliffe Rd.) Travel 8/10 of a mile and turn right onto Dog Creek Road. Stay on this road for 3 miles and then turn right onto Red Hill Road. Travel one and a half miles before turning right into the Visitor Center area. Print these directions in full from Google Maps here: from Raleigh

Map to Red Hill

Buy Tickets

Toll Free: 800-514-PHMF (800 514-7463)
Voice: 434 376-2044
Fax: 434 376-2647

Red Hill is open:
Monday - Saturday 9 am to 5 pm
Sunday 1 pm to 5 pm

Winter hours (November 1 - March 31)
Monday - Saturday 9 am to 4 pm
Sunday 1 pm to 4 pm

Closed New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

General Admission

  • Adult (18-64)  $8
  • Seniors (65 & over)  $7
  • AAA, Military, NPS (National Park Service) Pass  $6
  • Student (6-17)  $4
  • 5 and under  Free
  • Group Adults  (10 or more) $4*
  • Group Student  $3* 

*Group rates require that you call or email in advance to book your visit.

 

Plan Your Stay

While you are here…

Our nearby town of Brookneal is a great place to stop and pick up lunch or supplies for your day trip. Check out the information below to find a place to eat, figure out some other fun stops in the area, and more!

 

Host Your Event

Host Your Event

Make Red Hill a part of your life’s story! The Red Hill grounds are available to be used as an event venue for your wedding, anniversary, or other celebration. The beautiful sweeping lawns and rolling hills make a beautiful backdrop for your festivities.

Utilizing Red Hill as a venue gives you many options for a beautiful, outdoor party. The many different areas of open lawn would give you and your planner options for configuring your celebration based on your guest list, whether you will be doing a ceremony and reception, etc. In the warmer months of the year, when the daylight lasts on into the evening, Red Hill is a stunning location surrounded by all the natural beauty Virginia has to offer.

If you are interested in learning more about hosting an event here at Red Hill, read the information below and then contact us with any questions. We will be happy to provide you with more detailed information on what hosting here will look like, and how to get started arranging your event.

What is Included

The grounds can be made available to you exclusively beginning at 5:00 pm, when Red Hill closes to visitors. Anything held prior to 5:00 pm may include other guests being present on the grounds. Your use of Red Hill would include all of the outdoor open spaces on the estate, including ample parking. It also would include use of the Margaret P. Nuttle House on the day of the event, which has a kitchen, living room, three bedrooms, and two and a half baths. After 5:00 pm you may also have use of the Visitor Center’s three rooms and two bathrooms. You will also be guaranteed at least one staff member to be on hand during your event.

Red Hill will NOT be able to provide services beyond the use of facilities. We are, however, happy to recommend caterers and vendors with whom we have had previous positive experiences based on their professionalism in providing service at other events. You will want to consider vendors for furniture rentals, as well as for any food service items needed for your meal. For your caterer, they will have use of the kitchen in the Nuttle House, but not of any cookware or dishware, so they should be sure to provide their own.

Two things to be aware of: bathrooms and electrical outlets are both limited. You may want to work with your event planner to supply additional solutions for these two needs.

The historical buildings may be used for taking photographs. However, the historical buildings may not be decorated, or used in the actual course of your event.

If you are interested in further details about options and restrictions for hosting your wedding or event here at Red Hill, please submit a request for more information (link to contact form). You can also call to discuss any questions with us at (434) 376-2044.

 

Living History Days

Living History Days

Looking for a hands-on way to learn about colonial life and the Founding Fathers? Our Living History Days are a great way for kids of all ages to get a glimpse of what life was like for Patrick Henry in a way that will create lasting memories. Bring the pages of your textbook to life and join us with your class, homeschool group, or other organization!

There are several times throughout the year when Living History is offered for children. Each Fall Red Hill hosts a special series of “ Homeschool Days” for groups or individuals who homeschool their children. In the Spring or Fall, we can also work with you or your school to arrange for Living History during your class tour.

Living History Days are staffed by the wonderful volunteers of the Patrick Henry Auxiliary. These volunteers don colonial costumes and act as docents and teachers for a rotating variety of different learning stations. Depending on which of our docents is participating on the day you attend, there will be a different set of Living History stations. Some of the stations that you might experience during

Living History Days include:

  • Hearth Cooking—see how cooking was done over a fire in Henry’s day, before microwaves or even electricity!
  • Flax to Linen—learn about the process of taking natural fibers and turning them into fabric for clothes and other uses.
  • Colonial Medicine—find out what a colonial doctor might have given you for a fever or a broken arm and see how much medicine has changed since Henry’s time.
  • Blacksmithing—experience how a blacksmith’s forge worked, complete with the fire, bellows, anvil, and hard work used back in the day!
  • Pottery—get your hands dirty with the pottery wheel, which would have been used to create the plates and bowls used in the Henry household.
  • ...And more!

To get in touch with us about bringing your group for Living History Days at Red Hill please call us at (434) 376-2044, or fill out our contact form here. We look forward to making your learning experience memorable and fun!