Red Hills Slave Cemetery

Association: None
No. of Markers: 21 (View)
No. of Individuals: 0 (View)
Location: Private. Albemarle Co.

The Red Hills Plantation is located just north of the Rivanna River. The current owners graciously gave us permission to map one of the preserved slave cemeteries that were used by the enslaved population at Red Hills. The plantation house was built in c. 1797. The cemetery discussed here is more than half a mile away from the "big house." When the cemetery was surveyed in 2002, there were 15 graves visible. None of the gravestones were inscribed, but many were carved and some had matching head and footstones. There were also several additional unmarked depressions that may contain additional burials. The cemetery is locatd within the curve of an old road bed. Today the cemetery is not contiguous with the Red Hills Plantation because of subsequent land sales and construction. But originally the road may have led from the plantation house to the cemetery.

As illustrated by the two photos here, the stones are beautifully carved. While all are carved from locally available stone types, different colors and textures were selected. And while some stones have curved tops, others are carved into a triangular shape. The stones lie on a small hilltop, evoking the symbolism of a "city on a hill." The graves are roughly aligned east/west and organized into two of three clusters. More graves may be present in unmarked locations. It is also likely that this large plantation had more than one cemetery set aside for its enslaved population.