Williamsburg and Hampton Roads Travel Guide

Williamsburg and Hampton Roads Sights

Governor's Palace

  • Northern end of Palace Green Map It
  • Colonial Williamsburg
  • House/Mansion/Villa

Published 01/10/2017

Fodor's Review

His Majesty's Governor Alexander Spotswood built the original Governor's Palace in 1720, and seven British viceroys, the last of them Lord Dunmore in 1775, lived in this appropriately showy mansion. The 540 weapons, including 230 muskets and pistols, arrayed on the walls of several rooms herald the power of the Crown. Some of the furnishings are original, and the rest are matched to an extraordinary inventory of 16,000 items. Lavishly appointed as it is, the palace is furnished to the time just before the Revolution. During the Revolution, it housed the commonwealth's first two governors, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson. The original residence burned down in 1781, and today's reconstruction stands on the original foundation.

A costumed guide greets you at the door for a tour through the building, offering commentary and answering questions. Notable among the furnishings are several pieces made in Williamsburg and owned by Lord Dunmore. Social events are described on the walk through the great formal ballroom, where you might even hear the sounds of an 18th-century harp, clavichord, or piano. The supper room leads to the formal garden and the planted terraces beyond.

Sight Information


Northern end of Palace Green, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, USA

Map It

Sight Details:

  • Colonial Williamsburg entrance required

Published 01/10/2017


Book A Trip



  • CARS

What's Nearby

  • Restaurants
  • Sights
  • Hotels

See all sights in Williamsburg and Hampton Roads

Subscribe to Newsletter
Sign up for Travel Tips & News
I want emails from Fodor's Travel with travel information and promotions. I can unsubscribe any time using the unsubscribe link at the end of all emails.

Thank you for your interest!

Look our for our newsletters with travel tips and special offers.