Christopher Newport Cross

On May 24, 1607, Capt. Christopher Newport and a party of explorers who had landed at Jamestown just days earlier arrived at the site of modern-day Richmond and planted a cross in honor of King James I of England.

In the decades following Newport’s visit, steady inroads by Europeans into Native American territories led to numerous hostilities and several wars. In 1646, a treaty gave much of eastern Virginia to the English. By the early 18th century, the land along the falls was part of a large plantation owned by William Byrd, the region’s most prominent trader in furs, tobacco, rum and slaves. In 1705, the plantation passed to William Byrd II, who, when pressed by the Colonial assembly to set up a town at the site of his trading post, laid out 34 squares of four lots each, thus founding Richmond.

  • In recognition of the significance of the area’s early history, the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities erected a cross in 1907, on the tercentenary of Christopher Newport’s visit.
  • In 2000, the cross was moved to 12th Street.
  • The marker can be reached from the intersection of South 12th Street and East Byrd Street.
  • More than 22 historic markers are within walking distance of the Turning Basin and Riverfront Canal Walk.


Along the Riverfront Canal Walk, a public park open from dawn to dusk