Gunston Hall, the Home of George Mason
10709 Gunston Road, Mason Neck, VA, USA
www.gunstonhall.org - 703.550.9220
Gunston Hall, the Home of George Mason Mason Neck Reviews
Colonial Home Feb 14, 2010
Overshadowed by its northern neighbor Mount Vernon, Gunston Hall is another great example of colonial architecture. After you've seen the more famous sights, I highly recommend a visit to the home of George Mason, the writer of Virginia's Declaration of Rights. Georgian-style, the house is a beautiful example of perfect symmetry. The grounds also hold several outbuildings such as the kitchen, laundry, and schoolhouse. Behind the home are gardens and the view of the Potomac River down the hill.
A visit to Gunston Hall begins at the visitor center. You pay at the front desk: $9 for adults, $5 for children. However, there is an on-line coupon available at its website. (http://www.gunstonhall.org/visit/admission.html)
To the right is a gift shop which has the usual variety of items including postcards, my souvenir since indoor photography of Gunston Hall is prohibited. The restrooms are also over here. While only for one person (not good for large groups), the restrooms are spacious and even have a table for women to put their purse.
To the left of the admission desk is the theater where visitors watch an orientation video about George Mason. We did not watch the video until the end of our visit since the tour was about to start, and at that point I think we could have skipped it.
Also in the Visitor Center is a small museum with background information on George Mason in one hall, historical looks at Gunston Hall in the other hallway, and period pieces in a room at the end.
Tours begin at 9:30 and run every half hour until 4:30. Gunston Hall is open almost every day of the year; a few holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas are the exceptions. We were very pleased with our tour guide's knowledge and wit.
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Gunston Hall at Mason Neck Oct 19, 2002
Gunston Hall, on Mason Neck in southern Fairfax County, VA, is the home of George Mason. “George who?” you may ask. Not as well known as his neighbor, George Washington, George Mason nevertheless played an important role in American independence. He wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights in 1776, antecedent to the Bill of Rights. Documents from the Declaration of Independence to the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights found inspiration in Mason’s writings.
Like most of the American Founding Fathers from Virginia, Mason was a planter. Gunston Hall was both his home and, as a working plantation, his business. A visit to Gunston Hall introduces the visitor to a Georgian house and architectural conventions, life in 18th century Virginia, and political ideas of the American Revolutionary period. The house is furnished and décor and displays reflect the Colonial American lifestyle and sensibilities. For example, in the entry hall, there is a false door, put there just to give the required balance and harmony to the other three real doors.
Outside, an extensive formal boxwood garden leads down to Gunston Cove, an inlet of the Potomac River. Visitors can walk through the gardens and down a hill to the bay. There are also preserved outbuildings in including workshops and the schoolmaster’s house. Reenactors frequent the grounds and you never know who you might meet. The visitor center contains displays on archeology at the site and on Mason's role in American independence. A visit to Gunston Hall can easily be included when visiting George Washington's home at Mount Vernon.
Camping and boating are available at nearby Pohick Bay Regional Park. A hiking trail connects the park to Gunston Hall. Mason Neck State Park is also close by, known for its hiking trails and birding trails that afford an opportunity to observe bald eagles, hawks, and waterfowl inhabiting Great Marsh.
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