Ivy Hill Cemetery, Bedford, Bedford County, VA
The five Clay family members that are buried
in this small cemetery near Forrest Depot, on the
plantation land once called Pettygrove, which is now located between the 6th
and 7th fairway of the Ivy Hill Golf Course, are:
Rev. Charles Clay b. Dec 24, 1745 d. Feb. 8, 1820. Son of Charles
and Martha Green Clay. Married Editha Landon Davies Clay. He was an
Episcopalian minister of St Anne's Parish 1769-1784.
The original Clay house was built in 1790 by
Rev. Charles Clay and named Petty Grove, Forest, Bedford Co., VA. The
home burned in 1920 and was replaced by the house that exists in
2001. The site is now called Ivy Hill.
His unique grave is covered by a huge pile
of rocks that family legend contends that he asked that his sons throw
rocks on his grave for every sin they committed that he did not know of.
The pile is 12' high, 12" wide, and 20' long. Those four boys
must have been some handful since it took 100 wagon loads of rock to make
Another legend is that Clay was of
questionable character and was afraid the devil would get him so he asked
that his grave be covered with the rocks. This is doubtful since he was a
minister and knew where the devil came from, and it is unlikely that he
would want rocks holding him down.
The real reason is that he did not want a
road crossing over his grave and figured that it would be easier to go
around than over that pile of stones.
next to him is
||Editha Landon Davies Clay b. April 17, 1777 d. June 3, 1838,
"Editha Clay died 3rd June 1838 aged 61 years 47days. This monument is
erected to the memory of the Best of Mothers by her affectionate
sons." She died at her home, Pettygrove.
Editha was the daughter of Henry Landon
Davies and Ann Whiting Clayton, daughter of John Clayton Jr.,
granddaughter of John Clayton the Botanist of Gloucester Co., VA and
the wife of Rev. Charles Clay. Her marker is a table stone.
next to her is
||Cyrus Boyle Clay b. May 10, 1797 d. Sept 8, 1820 " In memory of
Cyrus B. Clay, who died 8 Sept. 1820, age 23 years 4 months, to know
him was but to love and respect him." He was the firstborn child of
Rev. Charles and Editha Landon Davies Clay and was unmarried at the time of
his death. The marker is a table stone.
Mary Louisa ("Nannie" "Sally") Watkins Clay,
b.9 Sept. 1820 d. July 15/16 1855, " Mary Louisa, wife of Paul A.
Clay, on July 16, 1855, age 34, A dutiful daughter, A dedicated wife, An
affectionate mother, A kind neighbor" Her parents were Edward
and Harriet Tabb Trevillian and she was born on their family land,
Presqu'isle", Chesterfield Co., VA., now a bird refuge on the James
River. Mary Louisa loved to ride her horses and would teach her children,
when quite young, to ride. She would have the child lifted up to her
telling them "Do not be afraid little one, hang on to me."
Mary Louisa died at her home, Pettygrove, a
short distance away and was buried in the family cemetery here. The top
part of her headstone has been broken off and is laying on the ground.
and next to her mother is
Margaret Wells Clay, b. 21 June 1852 d. June 20, 1853. She was
the infant daughter of Paulus A. and Mary Louisa Watkins Clay; the seventh
of eight children born to them. The top part of her stone has also
been broken off and the stone knocked over so the writing is not seen.
The graves according to the photo of the pile of rocks, all come to the
inside of the cemetery, not on the other side of the pile of rocks. There
is no indication that anyone else is buried here.