Education Portal – Fairfield Plantation

Delve into Virginia’s Colonial-era history, which parallels the story of the Fairfield Plantation at its peak. This site was home to one of Virginia’s magnificent manor houses, an architectural enigma once surrounded by 7,000 acres of tobacco fields and forestland at the heart of Gloucester County, just north of Williamsburg.

Five generations of the Burwell family lived at Fairfield, designing the landscape and controlling the environment for their own benefit. Their story includes the lives of many enslaved Africans and African-Americans who were forced to labor for the Burwell’s financial success, but experienced a very different and fascinating life of their own.

Read the intriguing research and join the effort to uncover more of the mysteries.


General Information

Excavation of Fairfield Plantation and Fairfield Quarter

  • David A. Brown, “Fairfield Plantation.” In: DAACS. Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery. 2006.

  • David A. Brown, Thane H. Harpole, “Fairfield Quarter.” In: DAACS. Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery. 2006. [with Bibliography]

Colonial Fairfield

Conservation Issues

Conservation of historic masonry


Archaeological Stratigraphy – Harris Matrix

  • Edward C. Harris, Principles of Archaeological Stratigraphy. London: Academic Press, 1979.

  • Practices of Archaeological Stratigraphy. Edited by Edward C. Harris, Marley R. Brown III, Gregory J. Brown. London: Academic Press, 1993.



Fairfield Plantation, Gloucester County. A gallery of images. Selected and annotated by David A. Brown & Thane H. Harpole, Fairfield Foundation.