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Gunston Hall, the plantation home of George Mason, is another Northern Virginia historic site which does not get the visitors it deserves. Situated only a few miles south of Mount Vernon to the east of Route 1 on Mason Neck, it does not get anywhere near the number of visitors of its illustrious neighbor to the north.
The following is from the Gunston Hall web-site:
Gunston Hall was once the center of a 5,500-acre tobacco and corn plantation. Its owner, George Mason IV (1725-1792), was a fourth generation Virginian who became a senior statesman and one of the era’s most influential figures. As author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, Mason was among the first to call for such fundamental American liberties as religious toleration and freedom of the press. Thomas Jefferson once referred to Mason as “a man of the first order of wisdom.”
Mason’s home, constructed between 1755 and 1759, is an outstanding example of Georgian architecture. The elaborate carvings of the interior, designed by indentured servant William Buckland, are among the finest creations of artisans working in Colonial Virginia. Mason’s “regular” garden, south of the mansion, features the original configuration of gravel pathways, a 250 year old boxwood allée, massive earthen terraces, and vistas of the Deer Park leading to the Potomac River and Maryland shore beyond.
Today, Gunston Hall is a National Historic Landmark owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia
Photography is not allowed inside the plantation house but there are still some excellent opportunities to capture this perfect example of the symmetrical design which was so important to the Georgian Architecture of the time. There are also some interesting buildings around the main plantation with exhibits of plantation life during the colonial era. This shot was captured from the edge of the boxwood allée and shows the rear of the plantation house.
Click here to learn more about George Mason