A picturesque little town tucked away on the south bank of the Rappahannock River, Port Royal is indeed the ‘hidden village’ of central Virginia, with a long and rich history.  

     The Town of Port Royal was founded in 1744. In 1751, James Madison, framer of the Constitution and future President of the United States, was born across the Rappahannock River from Port Royal at his grandmother’s plantation at Belle Grove in what was then called ‘Port Conway.’ During the period of the American Revolution, many southern leaders including George Washington visited Port Royal. The 'Father of his Country’ was a frequent visitor to the Fox Tavern (ca. 1767) in Port Royal. 
     Captain Sally Tompkins, the famous 'Nurse of the Confederacy,' and only female commissioned officer during the Civil War, made her home in Port Royal after the war. 
Today, Port Royal is a vibrant and cheerful community with new organizations, developments, and plans. The Town is rapidly becoming a mecca for antique shopping and fine dining.