Stratford Hall, Montross, Virginia
Dating to the late 1730s, the Stratford Hall Great House and its surrounding outbuildings are highly remarkable examples of colonial Virginia architecture. Stratford Hall’s history is equally striking: it was the site of a large 18th-century tobacco plantation, the home of two signers of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, and the birthplace of Robert E. Lee. Since 1929, a nonprofit corporation, the Robert E. Lee Memorial Association, has cared for Stratford Hall as a public historic site.
The Stratford Hall Cultural Landscape Laboratory is a collaborative venture of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Association (RELMA), the University of Georgia, College of Environment and Design (UGA-CED), and landscape professionals from The Jaeger Company of Gainesville, Georgia. Together, these partners are developing an exciting vision for the management and interpretation of Stratford Hall’s highly significant cultural landscape — an area encompassing unique natural features, formal gardens, dramatic vistas, and remnants of past agricultural, commercial, and domestic activities.
With a focus on heritage conservation and sustainability, the Laboratory provides research and learning opportunities for RELMA staff, graduate students, university faculty, and professional practitioners. Currently, our efforts are focused on researching the history of the landscape and documenting existing conditions using Geographic Information System (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies. The research findings and GIS database will be crucial resources for the future stewardship of Stratford Hall, providing a framework for future landscape management and planning.
The Stratford Hall Cultural Landscape Laboratory exists to ensure the long-term stewardship and sustainability of Stratford Hall–one of America’s most treasured cultural and ecological resources–and to advance the theory and practice of cultural landscape conservation.
Impeccability – Upholding the highest professional standards and using state-of-the-art methods for public history and cultural resource conservation.
Leadership – Providing leadership in the realms of public history, historic site management and interpretation, and cultural resource conservation.
Sustainability – Ensuring the long-term sustainability of the ecological, cultural, and social systems that constitute Stratford Hall’s cultural landscape.
Communication – Building and maintaining community through effective communication.