Red Hill, 2930 acres at Patrick Henry's death, was named by its previous owners after the red clay soil so common to the area. Henry reportedly referred to it as "one of the garden spots of Virginia." The view from here overlooking the Staunton River valley has changed very little in the past two centuries.
Looking out, we see the flood plain of the Staunton River, but not the river itself. In Henry's time, the rich soil would have been planted with tobacco, wheat, corn, and other crops. The Staunton, known at its headwaters and mouth as the Roanoke River, flows southward from here into Albemarle Sound in North Carolina.
According to Red Hill folklore, Patrick Henry "stood upon an eminence, and gave orders," directing the work of the field hands in the "low grounds." Some believe Henry had a small platform erected for this purpose and that its location was approximately fifty yards in front of this spot.