Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Belvoir Grounds and Potomac View Trail
The Northern Neck Land Grant
— Belvoir and the Fairfax Family —
The Northern Neck Land Grant
A proprietary was land granted to a loyal subject of the King. The Proprietor was permitted to subdivide the land and grant, sell or give it to others. In 1649, King Charles II granted the Northern Neck Proprietary to seven of his English supporters, one of whom was Lord Culpeper. His daughter married Thomas, Fifth Lord Fairfax in 1690, at which time the prominent Fairfax family came to own this land. Their eldest son, Thomas, Sixth Lord Fairfax, inherited the Proprietary from his grandmother and his mother.
Belvoir Grounds and Potomac View Trail Map
The Potomac View Trail begins across the field from where you now stand. It is moderately strenuous as it travels south along the high bluffs of the Potomac River, offering views of the water and adjacent shorelines. The self-guided trail chronologically describes the importance of the river to settlement in this region from prehistoric to contemporary times. As you walk along the trail, you may catch a glimpse of a soaring Red-tailed Hawk, or another regular visitor, the Bald Eagle.
Belvoir and the Fairfax FamilyIn 1734, Thomas, Sixth Lord Fairfax who lived in England, asked his trusted cousin, William Fairfax of Salem, Massachusetts, to manage his land holdings in Virginia. In 1736, William Fairfax and Augustine Washington, George Washington's father, explored the Potomac to find suitable locations to establish residences. William selected this site for the establishment of Belvoir, which means "beautiful to see" in French. Augustine selected a nearby site on the bluffs upriver that later became the site of Mount Vernon.
William commissioned the construction of the Georgian-style mansion here, which was completed in 1741. Between 1741 and 1773, the Fairfax family estate Belvoir, served as the family home. As with other 18th century Virginia estates, Belvoir was surrounded by gardens and outbuildings. Several archaeological studies of Belvoir conducted since the 1930s have provided information about the outbuildings, land use, and plantation life.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial Era • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1649.
Location. 38° 40.742′ N, 77° 7.799′ W. Marker is in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker can be reached from Forney Loop, on the Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Belvoir VA 22060, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Army Comes to Belvoir (within shouting distance of this marker); The Influence of the Fairfax Family (within shouting distance of this marker); The Neighborhood (within shouting distance of this marker); Life at Belvoir (within shouting distance of this marker); The Fairfax Family (within shouting distance of this marker); The Birth of a River (within shouting distance of this marker); Gardens and Kitchen at Belvoir (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ferdinando, and the End of the Fairfax Ownership (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Belvoir.
More about this marker. The marker is on Fort Belvoir, an active U.S. Army installation. Please check the links below for site access information.
Also see . . .
1. Access to Fort Belvoir. Details procedures for entering the Fort. (Submitted on August 26, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Belvoir in the Seventeenth Century. (Submitted on August 26, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 26, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 762 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 26, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 7. submitted on December 16, 2010, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama.