Staunton Hill Center for Thought, Creativity, and Production

General information

Brief description of organisation


To share the history, beauty and magic of Staunton Hill with writers, scholars and creators. Here, at a remove from the world, one can exploit the silence that exists and also explore the silences that are inextricably entwined with the history of the property.

The Staunton Hill Center for Thought, Creativity and Production (SH) boasts natural beauty combined with layers of history and a rarified aesthetic sensibility. The atmosphere is uplifting, inspiring and serene. SH strives to stimulate creativity through direct contact with beauty and nature and a respect for the environment. The ancient Celts described areas where they believed heaven and earth were especially close as "thin" places. There is something in the deep starry nights followed by misty morning sunrises, the long angle of rosy afternoon light and the very air at Staunton Hill that evokes the spirituality noted by the Celts. A visiting Chinese scholar said of Staunton Hill: it is, "Where day becomes night and night becomes day.”

SH offers residencies in the spring and fall to writers, scholars and creators working in a wide range of genres. Our residencies are designed to provide time, space and solitude. Applications are accepted in creative and scholarly fields with an emphasis on excellence and originality. Eight to ten artists are in residence at a given time. Applicants are accepted based on the quality of their work and their project description.

SH also offers workshops and symposia on a variety of subjects. Both programs benefit from the unique setting of an historic, private property featuring structures of architectural distinction.

Completed in 1848, Staunton Hill is a Gothic-revival castellated mansion designed by John Evans Johnson for Charles Bruce, father of Senator and Pulitzer Prize winning author, William Cabell Bruce. The ante-bellum plantation comprised just over 5,000 acres of fertile Staunton River low ground. Primarily a tobacco plantation, wheat, oats, hay and corn were all grown here, planted, tended and harvested by the 500 enslaved human beings who lived and toiled at Staunton Hill. The Staunton Hill Center forThought, Creativity and Production is attentive to this crushing history and is keen to attract scholars who are working on the history of slavery in America as well as creatives whose work engages with that history.

Organisation founded in


Brief description of residency program

The Staunton Hill Center for Thought, Creativity and Production (SH) hosts residencies of two to eight weeks twice yearly (April-June and September-November), for writers, scholars and creators at historic Staunton Hill located in bucolic Charlotte County, Virginia. Our secluded setting, where manmade and natural beauty abound, offers inspiration and quietude. We encourage applications representing the widest possible range of perspectives and demographics by those who are investigating an unlimited array of inquiries and concerns. The supportive and nurturing community ensure that during their time at SH, writers, scholars and creators will discover new directions, formulate ideas and produce work.

SH is housed in the historic Staunton Hill, which sits atop a bluff overlooking the Staunton River in rural Charlotte County, Virginia. Passing through the Staunton Hill gates, one immediately feels a weight lifting as quotidian concerns slip away. Adjusting to the rhythm of this remarkable place one feels a world away from contemporary life in both time and space. The effect is profoundly relaxing. One can see things clearly again, reconnect with one’s essential self and tap into the potential residing there.

SH has 10 large, comfortable bedrooms with en suite bathrooms. Situated on a remote 270-acre estate, there are walking trails through beautiful woods, a salt water pool and tennis court. Experiencing Staunton Hill and its legendary hospitality Is an experience like no other which sets Staunton Hill apart from other residency programs.

Disciplines and media
  • Visual Art
  • Scholarly disciplines
Type of organisation
  • Artist-Run
  • Independent Association/Foundation

Residency conditions

Duration of residencies
  • 2 weeks
  • between 1 and 3 months
Number of artists resident at one time

between 11 and 16

Expenses paid by artist
  • Travel
  • Housing
  • Supplies
  • Food
Application who/how

Open Call

Selection procedure

By Committee

Presentation of artists' work

Arranged on a case-by-case basis

Description of residency



  • Internet Connection
Number of studios


Type and size of studios

Shared Studio

  • Private Room
  • Shared Room

Wheelchair accessible studios and accomodation.

Working language(s)
  • English
Other activities happening at the space
  • Workshops

How to reach

By train

Amtrak to Lynchburg, Virginia. Uber/Lyft to Staunton Hill. (40 miles)

By plane

Flights to Lynchburg, Virginia. Uber/Lyft to Staunton Hill (39 miles)

By car

From Charlottesville:

Take US-29 South to Lynchburg

At Lynchburg, Merge onto Richmond Hwy/US-29 S/US-460 W toward Lynchburg/Danville.
Then 2.37 miles
Take the US-460 Bus W/US-501 Bus N/Campbell Ave exit toward South Boston/US-501 S.
Then 0.19 miles
Keep left to take the ramp toward South Boston.
Then 0.03 miles
Turn sharp left onto US-460 Bus E/US-501 Bus S/Campbell Ave. Continue to follow Campbell Ave.
Then 0.96 miles
Campbell Ave becomes Campbell Hwy/US-501 S.
Then 7.02 miles
At Rustburg, Turn right onto Village Hwy/US-501 S/VA-24. Continue to follow US-501S. to Brookneal.

At the stoplight in Brookneal, go straight onto R. 40 East. Cross cement bridge and take immediate right onto Dog Creek Road. Look for large sign indicating direction to Patrick Henry Memorial “Red Hil”.
Continue on this road for about seven miles. Go past the entrance to Red Hill.

You will see a large sign for Staunton Hill - turn right on to Magnolia Lane. Follow this road (our driveway) for 1.5 miles.

Nearest airport

Lynchburg, VA

Contact information

Staunton Hill Center for Thought, Creativity, and Production
1100 Magnolia Lane
24528 Brookneal
United States of America

Phone: 4343763020

Social Media

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