A new kind of company
Why the Stratford name?
People often ask from whence the Stratford name originated, so here it is. In the summer of 2004, Matt had the opportunity to vacation with his family and some friends in the Northern Neck of Virginia. During the trip, they ventured to the birthplace of Robert E. Lee — Stratford Hall — and were inspired by both the architecture and the history of the site. Matt spent the weeks and months afterward developing a business strategy that would allow him to pursue similar passions for design and its relationship to the landscape. He thought it fitting to name his company after the place that inspired its inception.
A History of Stratford Hall
Colonel Thomas Lee (1690 - 1750), a Virginian who served as the acting Governor of the colony, and who advocated strongly for westward expansion, purchased the land for Stratford Hall in 1717, recognizing the potential for the waterfront site both agriculturally and commercially. Construction of the Georgian Great House however did not begin until the late 1730s. Designed by an unknown architect, the brick Great House is a two story H-shaped structure, surrounded on its four corners by attending outbuildings, all of which still stand today. Following construction of the Great House, Thomas Lee expanded the site into a bustling hive of activity, and soon the working plantation became "a town in itself" as one visitor to Stratford marveled. A wharf on the Potomac River was the destination of a large number of merchant ships; a grist mill ground wheat and corn there; and slaves and indentured servants farmed tobacco and other crops on the thousands of acres of farmland of the plantation. Blacksmiths, coopers, carpenters, tailors, gardeners, and weavers all plied their trades at Thomas Lee's Stratford. Stratford Hall is set in the Historic Northern Neck - a rural peninsula in Virginia where the historic Christ Church is located.