Archaeologists have been searching for evidence of the landscape at Poplar Forest during Jefferson’s time.
Jefferson carved his villa retreat from his plantation at Poplar Forest. At the center stood the octagonal house with its ornamental landscape. The house and immediate grounds were part of the curtilage, a 61-acre enclosed landscape that was the largest section of the domestic part of the plantation. The curtilage served as a transition from the ornamental landscape nearest the house to the agricultural fields, and contained orchards, vegetable gardens, slave quarters, and farm-related buildings. Outside the curtilage were fields of the main cash crops, tobacco and wheat.
See our online exhibit entitled Three Landscape Areas, Three Periods, Three Perspectives to view some of the changes that have taken place in Poplar Forest’s core landscape.