The "Manner House" Before Stratford (Discovering the Clifts Plantation)

Part of the Clifts Plantation (44WM33) project

Author(s): Fraser Neiman

Editor(s): Alonzo Dill

Year: 1980


Stratford Hall, located in Westmoreland County, Virginia, was built about 1730 by Thomas Lee, scion of a family which has produced some of the most illustrious individuals in our nation's history. It stands today as one of the most famous mansions of the Colonial period. In contrast, The Clifts Plantation, located a little more than half a mile from the Lees' great brick house, was, until recent archaeological excavations uncovered it, known only to the farmers who for the last two hundred and fifty years have plowed the field in which The Clifts once stood. Famous men and stirring events passed The Clifts by. Yet despite its historical obscurity, The Clifts' archaeological remains have provided unique evidence of how the people who lived and died there organized their lives and their day-to-day transactions with one another and the world around them.

The following pages offer a selective account of the excavation of The Clifts Plantation, along with some of the conclusions to which they have led concerning the way life was lived there three centuries ago. However, several chapters in the story remain to be written. The cornfield in which The Clifts once stood has yielded a mountain of archaeological information. The task of digesting and making systematic sense of it continues.

Cite this Record

The "Manner House" Before Stratford (Discovering the Clifts Plantation). Fraser Neiman, Alonzo Dill. A Stratford Handbook. Stratford, VA: Robert E. Lee Memorial Association. 1980 ( tDAR id: 6087) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8DB8088

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1670 to 1729

Spatial Coverage

min long: -77.498; min lat: 36.633 ; max long: -75.41; max lat: 39.368 ;

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