The Ben Venue slave quarters form perhaps the most architecturally sophisticated grouping of slave quarters surviving in Virginia. Similar in style to the "big house," the quarters are brick buildings in contrast to the more common slave housing which consisted of shacks or log cabins with stick-and-mud chimneys. Each single-room dwelling has a stone foundation, glazed windows, and an exterior, brick chimney. In contrast to the fine exterior architectural features, the interiors were plain with rough floors and ladders in lieu of stairs. The slave quarters are located on a ridge in front of the main house, instead of the more common placement behind the house.
Ben Venue was a fifteen-hundred acre plantation established by William V. Fletcher in 1844. The buildings on the Ben Venue plantation were built by master mason James Leake Powers. In 1979, the site was listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and on the National Register.
Geographical and Contact Information
Lee Highway (U.S. 211)at Richmond Road (Virginia Route 729)