Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

127-0389 Shockoe Hill Cemetery

Shockoe Hill Cemetery
*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 04/28/1995

NRHP Listing Date 07/07/1995

NRHP Reference Number 95000818

The rapid growth that followed Richmond’s becoming the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia quickly overwhelmed available burial space. The city recognized the need for a public cemetery and purchased a 28.5-acre parcel on Shockoe Hill. Richard Young, the city surveyor, laid out the new cemetery in 1824. Surrounded by a tall brick wall, the cemetery is subdivided by four roads and twenty-six grassy walkways. The straight roads and paths, and the regular layout of plots, contrast with the Romantic informality that characterized many later municipal cemeteries. Shockoe is endowed with a rich collection of 19th-century funerary sculpture, with many works signed by local stonemasons. Among the 36,000 interments are Chief Justice John Marshall; engineer Claudius Crozet; Dr. William Foushee, Richmond’s first mayor; and Union spy Elizabeth Van Lew. A granite pyramid marks the graves of several hundred soldiers, both Confederate and Union.

[Photo credit: Calder Loth, 2020]

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: March 16, 2021