About the Site
Colonial National Historic Park

Virginia's Colonial National Historic Park consists of two separate sections which lie on opposite sides of the peninsula between the York River on the north and the James River on the south. Each is a site of some of the most important events in the history of the United States.


Jamestown was the first permanent colony established by the English in America. The colony was founded in a swampy, tidewater area along side the York River, pictured below in looking downriver toward the southeast.

Below are the sites of several original buildings on the Jamestown site. The original foundations are covered by modern bricks set in place to protect them. The large ruins in the background are from the Ambler House.

In the picture on the left below are more foundations from original buildings. On the right is the site of early 17th century statehouses located in Jamestown.



The northern section of the park lies near Yorktown on the banks of the York River. This area was the site of the final battle of the American war of independence in 1781. British troops under General Cornwallis were camped in the village of Yorktown along the York River where American troops laid siege.

The picture below shows cannon along the British line facing the combined French and American forces under the command of General George Washington.

Below, on the left, is a view of the Yorktown battlefield looking south toward the American siege lines and fortifications. The American force was ultimately successful in attacking and holding fortified bunkers called "redoubts", one of which is pictured on the right.


Below is the field where the British forces finally surrendered to the Americans, essentially ending Revolutionary War.

This house belonged to Augustine Moore. In this home the terms by which the British forces surrendered to the Americans were drafted. Beyond the fence to the rear of the house is the York River.

  • All photographs ©Patrick Holleran, Shannon Digital Imaging, 1994-2013

  • Commercial use of the images contained in this document without express written consent is strictly prohibited.

  • Comments and other remarks can be sent via e-mail to parkvision@shannontech.com