Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

127-0389 Shockoe Hill Cemetery

Shockoe Hill Cemetery
Photo credit: Calder Loth, 2020

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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 Shockoe Hill 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 Hill Cemetery 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.

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

Updated: July 7, 2021