Tredegar Iron Works

Tredegar Iron Works, Richmond

Tredegar Iron Works
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The area
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

492 reviews
Very good

Vienna, VA212 contributions
Feb 2020
Attached to the old Iron Works, which are now closed, this new museum (May 2019) is compact. Many, many artifacts and lots of writing. Some interactive displays. I am not a Civil War buff, so I did not appreciate the details of each battle, but of course appreciate the scope of the museum. Situated wonderfully, you can walk out of the museum and walk across the James River on the pedestrian bridge or take the Canal Walk, both of which i recommend on a nice day.
Written February 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

65 contributions
Jul 2021 • Business
I loved this museum. If you have any interest in the Civil War, you need to visit this site and take a look at the museum. The exhibits were fascinating - one was on banking and how the federal government financed the war and the other was about what the Confederacy wanted to achieve after independence. As a teacher, I found both fascinating and will be using some of the material from those exhibits in class.

The curators at the museum really know their stuff. The American Civil War Museum has not only managed to preserve this historic site, but they have turned it into a fully functional education space. I mean, I was looking at objects that once belonged to Robert E. Lee. The Smithsonian would probably kill to have some of those artifacts. I only had two hours here, but I could have spent the whole day. I will be going back the next time I am in Richmond.
Written July 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Petaluma4 contributions
Jan 2020
This museum was incredible. Never did I think I would get to see General Pickett's sash from the Battle of Gettysburg or J.E.B. Stuart's infamous hat and boots. If you love Civil War history, do not miss this museum.
Written January 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

David L
Woodbridge, VA10 contributions
Feb 2020
The iron works part is pretty small right now. Most of what there is to see is in the adjacent Museum of the Civil War. The architecture of the new building around the works is really nice. I was hoping to see a lot more about how the cannon were cast and made during the civil war era. There are basically a few artillery pieces to see and the remains of the water wheel. They could also do a lot more on the conflict of skilled labor with the slave labor brought in pre war. Now that the National Parks is involved, I think it will only get better.
Written February 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

West Chester, PA2,183 contributions
Oct 2019
Closed October 15,2019, the day before we arrived. It is being relocated across the plaza to a new building.

We went to the American Civil War Museum in the same plaza. Well worth it. Cost was $14/senior.
Written April 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

17 contributions
Mar 2019
I have been there twice. It's a place that is interesting. Do not forget your camera. The old brick is beautiful and the James River is across from it. A great place for a picnic and a game of frisbee. All that and it tells a story in history.
Written January 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dover, NH9,359 contributions
Apr 2015 • Solo
The Tredegar Iron Works site is operated by the non-profit American Civil War Center and the National Park Service. Each has its own part of the complex.

For the National Park Service, this is one of a dozen units of Richmond National Battlefield Park. Ten are battlefields; the other two are museums with visitor centers.

The Tredegar Iron Works Visitor Center, which is the NPS site, is the place to begin. There is a pay lot; however, when you go to the main desk, a ranger will validate your parking ticket so you will not have to pay anything.

Admission to the National Park Service portion of the site is free.

This is the place to pick up your brochures of the park. The larger brochure has a map and addresses of the other park units.

For those who participate in the Passport to Your National Parks Program, there are six cancellation stamps associated with this park. In season, each stamp is at the location it represents. They read:
● Tredegar Iron Works, Richmond NBP - Richmond, VA
● Richmond National Battlefield Park - Malvern Hill, VA
● Richmond National Battlefield Park - Fort Harrison, VA
● Richmond NBP - Chimborazo Museum
● Richmond NBP - Cold Harbor, VA
● Richmond NBP - Rural Plains - Hanover County, VA
During my visit, I went to three sites: Tredegar Iron Works, Chimborazo Medical Museum, and Cold Harbor. At Tredegar, I got the first three. Visitor centers at Malvern Hill and Fort Harrison were not open in early April so Tredegar kept the cancellation stamps at that location. And, at Cold Harbor, I also got the Rural Plains cancellation stamp.

At its height, the Tredegar Iron Works employed about 800, the fourth largest industrial workforce in the United States. In 1860, it was one of the largest and best-equipped ironworks. It produced such items as cannon, ammunition, armor plating for Confederate ships.

Today’s visitors see only the remains of the original site.

The Pattern Building houses the Richmond National Battlefield Park Visitor Center and the National Park Service’s Eastern National bookstore. There is a well-done informative video titled "Industrial Heart of the Confederacy: Tredegar Iron Works." There were also some excellent exhibits with battle maps, photos, and voices from the past.

On the grounds near the back door behind the Pattern Building, one finds a cannon; and, a little further away, there is a sculpture with life-size statues of Lincoln and his son Tad, who was a 12-year-old boy, sitting in the middle of a bench. They visited on April 5, 1865 after the fall of Richmond. Behind the statues, there is a curved wall with the inscription:
The sculpture, installed circa 2003, was designed with space on either side of them purposely for visitors to sit and to have a photo taken with them.

Paths behind the Pattern Building lead to outbuildings that include the Rolling Mills and the Company Store, plus the Kanawha Canal Wall.

The visitor center has an elevator so it is accessible as are the grounds.

Next door to the Pattern Building is the American Civil War Center which is run by the non-profit. It has a gift shop and a sizable museum in the attached Gun Foundry Building where the exhibit “In the Cause of Liberty” presents Union, Confederate and African American perspectives on the war.

Museum admissions are:
$8.00 - Adults
$6.00 - Seniors - age 62+
$4.00 - Children - age 6-17
FREE Children age 5 & under

Across Tredegar Street is the James River and the Haxall Canal. A footbridge leads to Brown’s Island. The American Civil War Center conducts walking tours there on a limited schedule.

I thought that the two organizations worked well together at this location.

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Written May 13, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ohio9 contributions
Spend nearly an entire day at this NPS visitor center. Fascinating and original displays with wonderful old CW photographs. And don't forget to walk the canal walk and sub-freeway footbridge to Belle Isle and see the ruins & views out there too. Great job NPS!
Written August 22, 2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Taylor B
Chicago, IL7,535 contributions
Jul 2015 • Couples
If you aren't a Civil War historian, if you've never been to Richmond, Virginia, before, if you've never visited a Civil War battlefield before, you are encouraged to begin your visit to Richmond at the Tredegar Iron Works at 500 Tredegar Street on the James River near the downtown area. Among other things, it is the site of the visitors center for the Richmond National Battlefield Park. It also is the site of a private museum, the American Civil War Center of History Tredegar. There are a lot of things going on at the 22-acre site, which is a National Historic Landmark. Opened in 1837, the Tredegar Iron Works was the third largest iron manufacturer in the United States by 1860. During the Civil War, it was the primary iron and artillery production facility in the Confederacy. Most importantly, it was one of only two cannon manufacturers in the South. That's all you need to know about why the South lost the Civil War. It avoided destruction during the evacuation of 1865 and continued production through the middle of the 20th century. Its wartime production included the iron plating for the first Confederate ironclad warship, the CSS Virginia, credit for nearly 1,100 artillery pieces and about half of the South's total domestic production of artillery between 1861 and 1865. Tredegar also manufactured railroad steam locomotives during the same period. By 1873, Tredegar was employing 1,200 workers and was a profitable business. However, the Panic of 1873 hit the company hard. Due to financing difficulties, it didn't transition to steel and faded from national prominence. But there is a lot to see and do at the new Tredegar Iron Works complex. In 2000, the new visitors center for the Richmond National Battlefield Park opened. There are three floors of exhibits, an interactive map table, films about the Civil War battles around Richmond, a bookstore and interpretative National Park Service rangers on site daily to provide programs. Also in 2000, a bronze statue of President Abraham Lincoln and his son Tad was unveiled to commemorate their arrival in Richmond and tour of the burnt-out city on April 4, 1865, 10 days before Lincoln's assassination. In 2006, the American Civil War Center opened. It features interactive theaters, plasma-screen maps and artifacts. You learn about the devastation of the war and the importance of African-American soldiers in the conflict. Many images of the iron works as they were in 1861-65 survive so you can envision how Tredegar looked as you negotiate the River Walk along the James River.
Written August 17, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kelly S
Aiken, SC231 contributions
Jun 2015 • Family
We got the combo ticket with the MOC, the White House of the Confederacy, and the Tredgar Iron works....the other tow were great this one is like a deserted island. The National Park site next door had way more visitors and we found out why. I am a throw it out there, good or bad history person. This place has a pc, how can we fix it approach, and an apologetic stance on the war. It started with the video that talked about slavery. Instead of presenting facts it kind of retaught and instead of concentrating on all the reasons for the civil war (states rights, and all the others) focused mainly on the evils of slavery. Believe me, I know slavery is bad, but this was sanitized and packaged w/o any thought provoking or leave it up to the individual basis. It bothered me greatly that younger people would see this and continue to see the war as simply just about slavery, which it was not.
Written July 6, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Tredegar Iron Works is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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