Parcel is located in northwest corner of Ravensworth


Richard Ratcliffe bought this 1000-acre part of Parcel 1.1.7 in 1798 from doctors Henry Rose and Augustine Smith. Ratcliffe merged the land with about 2000 adjacent non-Ravensworth acres, which he had acquired over three decades. He called his plantation Mount Vineyard.

Divison of Parcel

Because Parcel was merged with non-Ravensworth land, it’s division was not as straightforward as in other parcels.

Division of Parcel - Portions of Robert Ratcliffe's land, Town of Providence and the Courthouse lot extend beyond the parcel's boundary on land outside Ravensworth.

Division of Parcel – Portions of Robert Ratcliffe’s land, Town of Providence and the Courthouse lot extend beyond the parcel’s boundary (dashed line) on land outside Ravensworth.

  1. Fairfax County Courthouse.The first division occurred within a year after purchase. Ratcliffe successfully promoted a site within his Mount Vineyard plantation for relocating the Fairfax County courthouse from Alexandria. He sold four acres to the county for one dollar in 1799, on which the new courthouse was built and opened for business in March 1800. The historic courthouse building and about one third of the 4-acre tract (Parcel are inside the northwest border of Parcel
  2. Town of Providence. At Ratcliffe’s urging, a Virginia law was passed in 1805 creating Providence (today’s City of Fairfax) adjacent to the new courthouse, again on his Mount Vineyard land. Almost all of the 14-acre site (Parcel that Ratcliffe provided was on land within Parcel

    Today’s View (in Google Maps)

    See map of Town of Providence. The courthouse lot is in the lower left corner of the town survey plat.

  3. In 1813, Richard and Locian Ratcliff “for love and affection” deeded all but a few remaining acres as gifts to their sons Robert Ratcliffe and Samuel Ratcliffe. Robert received 493 acres (Parcel, which included 35.5 acres of non-Ravensworth land. Samuel’s 486 acres (Parcel were all within Parcel

The few unaccounted for acres, which adjoined Providence, were likely sold in small lots, incorporated into the town or both.

Parcel Chain of Ownership Documents

B2:3736/27/1799Richard RatcliffeCommissioners Charles Little, David Stuart, William Payne, James Wren & George Minor1. 4 acres for new county courthouse and jail; cost $1.
M2:13512/7/1805William Payne and 13 other Trustees of the Town of ProvidenceRichard Ratcliffe1. plat and survey establish location and boundaries of new town (& 19 lots within) established by law in 1805 on Ratcliffe's land. Sell 16 lots not already owned by Ratcliffe for $4,530.
L2:603/13/1811Richard & Locian RatcliffeRobert Ratcliffe1. 493 acres to their son for love & affection & 1 dollar. Included 35.5 acres of non-Ravensworth land.
L2:713/16/1811Richard & Locian RatcliffeSamuel Ratcliffe1. 486 acres to their son for love & affection & 1 dollar.