Berry Hill, South Boston vicinity. A premier monument of the American Greek Revival, Berry Hill's unforgettable mansion was erected in 1842-44 for James Coles Bruce, one of Virginia's most affluent planters.
Its architect was John E. Johnson, a West Point graduate who also designed the Gothic Revival mansion Staunton Hill for James Coles Bruce's half brother Charles. Josiah Dabbs, a local contractor, was the builder.
Fronted by a heroic octastyle portico in the Doric order of the Parthenon, Berry Hill is flanked by
porticoes dependencies forming a dramatic architectural ensemble. No less impressive is the lofty interior with its grand divided stair, plaster ceilings medallions, and imported marble mantels. A colonnaded service wing projects from the rear. The house stands in a large semicircular landscaped park. On the property is one of the state's largest slave
cemeteries and the ruins and sites of numerous slave quarters.
(41-04) VLR: 11/05/68: NHL: BHR easements.