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Governor’s Palace

Colonial Williamsburg Governor's Palace
Colonial Williamsburg Tours
Governors Palace

A Symbol of Royal Authority under Siege

Enter the years immediately before the Revolution and experience the grandeur of royal government in Virginia just before its collapse. Feel the tension between the rulers and the ruled in this revolutionary time as the British government’s authority was increasingly questioned.

Home to seven royal governors and the first two elected governors in Virginia, the Palace was meant to project British authority and wealth. From the large display of period swords and guns to the elegant décor and grand ballroom, the Palace was built to impress.

Behind the Palace, get lost in the elaborate, tiered gardens overlooking the stream. Children will love finding their way through the boxwood maze. In summer, you’ll find welcome coolness in the original icehouse at the back of the property. In every season, the gardens provide a place of privacy and shelter from the noises of the bustling city.

Preparing Meals for the Governor

Be sure to find out what’s going on in the buildings that surround the Palace. The kitchen and scullery are often filled with activity as members of historic foodways prepare meals for the governor and his family. Be drawn in by the aromas of hearty onion soup or sweet candied pineapple, and learn the “high cooking arts” of a British kitchen in America, courtesy of our foodways experts. Weather permitting, you may learn about brewing beer or making chocolate.

Learn more about the Governor’s Palace on Go
Schedule of

Hours effective through
June 15, 2014
Mon.: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Tues.: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Wed.: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Thurs.: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Fri.: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Sat.: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Sun.: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Ticket Required?
check Yes
ticketCW Admission
About this Historic Site: Walking Tour placeholder

Upcoming Events at the Governor’s Palace Events

Apr 17
10:30 AM
The Indian Trader
An Indian trader has just returned to Williamsburg from the frontier. Join him as he walks about town to visit the sites associated with Virginia's deerskin trade. Meet the people involved and discover a complex world of politics, commerce, and communities--both Native and British.
Apr 17
11:00 AM
Faces of the Nation
Everyday people--red, white, and black; artisans, farmers, house servants, and natives of this land; enslaved and free--were an essential part of building a new society. Meet the "Faces of the Nation"--the people who paved the way for this new society. These men and women shaped their times and worked to make a better life for themselves and those who would follow. See how their lives, like our own, were affected by the promises of American Independence, whether realized or unfulfilled.
Apr 17
11:30 AM
Thomas Jefferson & Patrick Henry Debate
the Relation between Church and State
Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry held very different views on the nature of the relationship between any church and the state or government within which it existed. Experience the well-reasoned though heated debate between these two giants of the political stage.
Apr 18
9:30 AM
Gardens of Gentility
Discover how gardens reflected status and wealth in the 18th century. This escorted walking tour will take you through several gardens along Palace Green.
Handicap AccessibilityFirst floor accessible. Wheelchair lift located at west entrance (weight capacity of 450 lbs., including occupant). West advance, kitchen, and scullery accessible via the west entrance gate.
Family restroom, in east yard of Palace, is completely wheelchair accessible. Gardens and grounds completely accessible.