Gunston Hall was once the center of a 5,500-acre tobacco and wheat 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 and administered by a Board of Regents appointed from The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America. Hours of public visitation are 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Each visitor will receive a guided tour of the mansion; the 550 acres of grounds and hiking trails are open until 6:00 p.m. A variety of special events are presented throughout the year.