The Birthplace


The Birthplace

ca. 1750
College Road
Hampden-Sydney, VA 23943


Newly renovated in 2000, the building is nicely furnished for conferences. Built in the 1750's, the Birthplace was originally the plantation office of Nathaniel Venable at his home, Slate Hill, which stood about three miles south of Hampden-Sydney. Venable, one of the founding trustees of the College, invited the Presbytery of Hanover to meet in his office to make final plans for the opening of the College.

In 1944 the owners of Slate Hill gave the office building to Hampden-Sydney, and it was moved to the present location. It is typical of mid-18th century dependencies in construction, built of heart pine with beaded weather-boarding and cast shingled roof. There is one large room on the ground floor, with an enclosed stairway leading to a loft room above. An enormous hearth, unique in this part of Virginia, extends halfway into the downstairs room. The woodwork is simple, in keeping with the original purpose of the building.