Wednesday, May 6, 2020

A Tour of the Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Would you like to take a walk through the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg with me?  Begun in 1705, it served as the official residence of the Royal Governors of the Colony of Virginia from 1710 - 1776.  The palace was home to seven royal governors and the first two elected governors of  the colony of Virginia, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson.

Impressive, yes?
Our guide told us this palace was built to be a comfortable place for the governor and his family to reside.  It was also designed to simultaneously impress and intimidate visitors with the might of the British empire.  Hence all the weapons on the walls and the numerous appearances of the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.
Here you see the words "Dieu et Mon Droit" -- "God and My Right."  This refers to the belief of the monarchy in their divine right to rule.  I'm not sure if they still truly believed that by the 18th century (according to our guide) but still, it was tradition, and traditions must be adhered to.
Here we have more weapons above the doorway, along with a Union flag.  But I also wanted you to see these sconces on either side of the door.  I've never seen any like them; aren't they pretty?
Such ornate sword handles!   
Love this chair --
Directly off the entrance hall, we viewed the parlor.  It was furnished with a table, numerous chairs,
matching federal style mirrors,
a fireplace,
and a grandfather clock.
Back to this picture, the blue and white dishes caught my eye (of course)  😁  and isn't this rug gorgeous?  This palace was full of lovely textiles and furniture, and I'm in awe of the artisans and craftsmen who made these.   
The above picture is from the second floor hallway; I think this blue wall color is beautiful.  Here you see more of those glass sconces and the hanging light fixture with fleur-de-lys around the top.  
We viewed three bedrooms on the second floor.  This was the daughters' bedroom.  The two daughters shared this bed,
and their governess slept in this bed.
A pretty dressing table and two matching chairs.  I think these green, bamboo chairs are exquisite.  I enjoy touring these historic homes (large and small) not just because of their history, which can be fascinating, but also because I'm so interested in the architecture, the textiles, and the antique furniture, porcelain and china, etc. 
Mademoiselles' dresses.  😉
The blue and white delft tiles on the fireplace are lovely.
Now we're in His Lordship, the governor's, bedroom.  Aren't the bed curtains and the canopy amazing?!  I've never seen anything so fancy on a bed.
The tiles on his fireplace are purple and white, and seem to blend with the bed linens.
I love this burled wood chest of drawers.
This room was referred to as the middle chamber, and it connected His Lordship and Her Ladyship's bedchambers.
This is a crib bedstead.  If you look carefully at this picture, you might see the rockers on the bottom of the crib, so the child can be rocked to sleep.      
This is called a square piano, something I've never seen before.   
This is Her Ladyship's bedchamber.
Isn't this wooden canopy frame beautiful?  All these beds and bed hangings were so unique, I thought.  So what do you think of the palace so far?  In the next post, I'll share the downstairs rooms -- the dining room, butler's pantry, study, supper room, and ballroom.  This time period in American history really fascinates me, the founding of our nation and all that entailed.     
Thanks so much for your visit today!  I hope you're all doing well and staying healthy.  Happy first week of May to all of you.   


  1. We've been to Williamsburg several times and have gone through all the buildings. We really enjoy going there and doing that.

  2. The weaponry was pretty impressively displayed. I'm more of a BB gun gal myself, but I have friends who hang a musket above their fireplace. They'd be intrigued by the circle of revolvers (?) Love touring old homes, beautiful old homes all the better. The shade of blue was exquisite and I liked the idea of enjoining bedrooms for the Mr. and Mrs.

    1. not enjoining! adjoining, of course...gosh, I am slipping!

  3. Lovely photos and thank you for sharing. I've always wanted to go to Williamsburg but have yet to get there. Happy Mother's Day!


  4. Fabulous looking place, Denise. I'd enjoy the history (of course) and Mrs Britain would enjoy the textiles etc! As for the divine right of kings, we went to a great deal of trouble (including a civil war) in the previous century to get rid of that idea!



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