Curles Neck Plantation (also known as Curles Neck Farm) is located between State Route 5 and the north bank of the James River in the Varina district of Henrico County, Virginia. One of the great James River Plantations, Curles Neck has remained in active use for almost 400 years and remains a privately owned working farm which is not currently open to the public.
In November 1635, a year after the formal designation of Henrico County as one of 8 shires (or counties) in the Virginia Colony, a land patent for 750 acres (3.0 km2) was granted to Captain Thomas Harris, who had apparently served under Sir Thomas Dale. The tobacco farm was referred to by early settlers as "Longfield", but soon thereafter became known as Curles Neck. Captain Harris served in the House of Burgesses at Jamestown as a Burgess for Curles Neck.
The source of the name Curles Neck is unknown. Many people thought that the name derived from the meandering sweeping curves of the tidal James River in the area, which can clearly be seen by map. However, the family name of Curle is recorded in various grants over a span of one hundred years in the books at the State Land Registry Office. A prominent representative of that family was the patriot Wilson Roscow Curle of the Revolutionary era.
In the early 1670s, the property was owned by Nathaniel Bacon. The colonists in outlying locations such as those in Henrico and the Northern Neck came into conflict with the Colony's Royal Governor, Sir William Berkeley over taking reprisal action for alleged thefts by the Native Americans. In 1676, the tension erupted into a conflict between the colonists known as Bacon's Rebellion. Governor Berkeley was forced to retreat from Jamestown to the join loyalists on the Eastern Shore. Bacon fell ill and died in Gloucester, and the rebellion fell apart. In the aftermath, two dozen colonists were tried and hanged by Governor Berkeley. After Nathaniel Bacon was found guilty of treason post-mortem, his property was confiscated by the Crown, and later resold to William Randolph.