Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

037-0100 Howard's Neck

Howard's Neck
Photo credit: Calder Loth/DHR, 1971

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 11/16/1971

NRHP Listing Date 02/23/1972

NRHP Reference Number 72001398

The centerpiece of the upper James River in Goochland County, Howard’s Neck plantation is the refined Federal-style residence built ca. 1825 for Edward Cunningham, a leader in the Richmond milling industry. Cunningham’s Richmond town house, the Cunningham Archer House (demolished), was designed by Robert Mills, and Mills may have been involved at Howard’s Neck. With its sophisticated proportions and rich interior appointments, including an elegant curved stair, the house shows the hand of a talented architect. Adding interest to the plantation is a full complement of outbuildings, including an 18th-century “old dwelling,” a kitchen, smokehouse, toolhouse, orangery, and several old farm buildings. Of special significance is a “street” of three slave houses, an exceptionally rare survival. The proximity of the quarters to the mansion suggests that they housed enslaved African Americans serving the “home quarter,” and not field hands. The Howard’s Neck plantation is named for Allen Howard, who acquired it in 1741.

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

Updated: December 22, 2021