An iron foundry was established at Bellona Arsenal in 1814 by Maj. John Clarke, and was served by the nearby coal mines of Chesterfield County. Three years later Clarke was instrumental in having the federal government establish an arsenal adjacent to the foundry. Named for the Roman goddess of war, Bellona Arsenal was used for storing munitions produced in Clarke’s foundry. The arsenal was abandoned in 1832, but the foundry survived and eventually was leased by the Confederate government for the production of ordnance. Today, four of the arsenal’s eight major buildings remain. Three of these, grouped around a quadrangle, have been converted to residences. Nearby stands a roofless, ninety-foot-long granite powder magazine (pictured). Also on the property are the ruins of two smaller buildings and several archaeological sites. The whole assemblage at Bellona Arsenal is one of the state’s most significant early 19th-century industrial complexes.
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark
DHR has secured permanent legal protection for over 700 historic places - including 15,000 acres of battlefield lands
DHR has erected 2,532 highway markers in every county and city across Virginia
DHR has engaged over 450 students in 3 highway marker contests
DHR has stimulated more than $4.2 billion dollars in private investments related to historic tax credit incentives, revitalizing communities of all sizes throughout Virginia