Monday, August 28, 2017

Governor's Palace, Colonial Williamsburg, VA

We went to Colonial Williamsburg for a day. Our visit started with a tour of the Governor's Palace, a reconstruction of the original 18th century building occupied first by Alexander Spotswood, and subsequently by six other royal governors. 

Governor's Palace, Colonial Williamsburg

Our docent gave us an orientation to proper colonial behavior and the colonies, including how to bow and curtsy. She asked about where people were from. We claimed to be from the Maryland colony.

The colonies, some much bigger than their current state

 We then entered the palace proper, which was impressively large and decorous inside, reflecting the wealth and the power of the British empire.


Front hall

Crest of King George II, surrounded by weapons

The room on the left of the entry is the pantry, featuring many comforts needed for visitors and the family.

Pantry fireplace

Pantry desk and stores

On the right is a room used to entertain guests.

Fireplace in reception room

Seating and paperwork

We went upstairs and saw the living quarters. Above the main entrance is the main hall where the children would play. An old piano still stands in the hall.

Piano and seating for the children

The bedrooms were used by the family and guests. The canopy beds were functional (providing more warmth in the winter and fly protection in the summer) and ostentatious.


The extra space in the bedroom, not much!

The guest room has a nice, simple green bed for visitors.

Guest bed

At one point, the eldest girls of a governor had their own room where they would prepare for balls. Preparations include dressing and learning new steps to the latest dances.

Girls' bedroom with a fancy dress


Dressing table

A book describing dance steps!

 Downstairs are more entertaining rooms (the royal governor did throw many parties).

Music room?

The fireplace

The ballroom

The guide taught us some simple steps to the various dances. Some maneuvers are designed to show off a fancy dress. The final room was another refreshment and chatting area. 

Iron stove heating for the refreshment room

Fancy doorway

Fancy chandelier

The backyard has a formal garden for strolling.

Back door of the Governor's Palace

Formal gardens

Some blooming plants

The rear view of the house shows the living area of the mansion along with the addition of the ballroom and refreshment room leading to the back gardens.

Back of the house

Around the side of the house is the stables, carriage house, and other useful buildings. Included is a well for water, which my daughter found fascinating.


From the palace, we wandered down the palace green to see more of the colonial buildings.

Palace Green

More from Williamsburg in the next post!

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