Henricus Historical Park

Henricus Historical Park

Henricus Historical Park re-creates the second successful English settlement in the New World.  Four hundred years ago the opportunity of property ownership by the common man was a unique concept in the world. This innovative idea combined with the development of the first English hospital, the chartering of the first college in the New World, the English home of Pocahontas, the establishment of tobacco as the first cash crop in the New World, as well as other important events that occurred at Henricus, contributed to the successful permanent colonization of North America and the eventual establishment of the United States of America. Visit Henricus Historical Park and relive America's beginnings. Historical interpretation and reenactments pay tribute to Virginia's Indians and the English settlers who carved a nation out of what was then Virginia's western frontier.

Enter Your Location

Related Trip Ideas

Nearby Places

Image Credit: Henricus Historical Park


Henricus Historical Park is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Ticket sales end at 4:00 pm daily to allow later customers enough time to experience the site adequately before it closes.

Henricus Historical Park will be closed: January 1 through 20, 2014, Easter (April 20, 2014), Thanksgiving (November 27, 2014), Christmas Eve (December 24, 2014), Christmas Day (December 25, 2014)

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)


Join our professional staff in interactive and fun camps at this amazing and interactive living history park. Henrico Historical Park provides varying camps for children ages 6 – 16 and for Adults.  Most camps include a themed pontoon boat tour of the James River. Camps include period historical demonstrations and activities – more history, more fun!


In May 1611, Sir Thomas Dale arrived in Virginia with instructions from the London Company to find a secure and healthy area to establish a new town and principal seat for the colony.  In September 1611, Sir Thomas Dale moved up the James River to establish Henricus, the colony’s second settlement. As High Marshall, Dale was responsible for enforcing the laws, determining punishment and leading military expeditions.  As Commander, Dale was also responsible for overseeing the construction and defense of the city. 

Henricus stood “upon a neck of very high land, three parts thereof environed with the main River.”  As a defensive measure, Dale erected a long fence known as a pale across the narrow end of the neck of land to make it an island.  Powhatan’s skilled bowman harassed the Englishmen as the fort and palisades took shape, sending arrows over the walls. Dale confidently expected that the new town would replace Jamestown as the principal seat of the colony.  The location upriver provided security from possible Spanish attack (Britain was hostile with Spain at this time); and the high bluffs provided a healthier environment than the swamps of Jamestown.


Last updated: June 27, 2022
Captain John Smith Chesapeake Trail