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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 History.org Go
Schedule of
Operation:

Hours effective through
Mar. 17, 2016
Mon.: 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Tues.: 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Wed.: 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Thurs.: 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Fri.: 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Sat.: 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Sun.: 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Ticket Required?
check Yes
ticketCW Admission
About this Historic Site: Walking Tour placeholder

Upcoming Events at the Governor’s Palace Events

Feb 11
9:30 AM
Through Their Eyes: The Palace Tour
Lord Dunmore has just fled the Capitol in fear of his life and left all his belongings, including his enslaved and free servants. What could they do? How would they move on? Take a tour and be given the opportunity to make those decisions for yourself. The decision to find freedom or remain in servitude was never as simple as it seems.
Feb 13
7:30 PM
Palace Concert:
From Coronation to Inauguration
Experience an elegant evening in the candlelit ballroom of the Governor's Palace, featuring chamber music performed by the Governor's Musick. Hear firsthand accounts comparing the pomp and circumstance that surrounded the coronation of George III in 1761 and the inauguration of George Washington in 1789.
Feb 13
9:00 PM
Palace Concert:
From Coronation to Inauguration
Experience an elegant evening in the candlelit ballroom of the Governor's Palace, featuring chamber music performed by the Governor's Musick. Hear firsthand accounts comparing the pomp and circumstance that surrounded the coronation of George III in 1761 and the inauguration of George Washington in 1789.
Feb 16
9:30 AM
Through Their Eyes: The Palace Tour
Lord Dunmore has just fled the Capitol in fear of his life and left all his belongings, including his enslaved and free servants. What could they do? How would they move on? Take a tour and be given the opportunity to make those decisions for yourself. The decision to find freedom or remain in servitude was never as simple as it seems.
Apr 1
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.
Apr 8
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.
Apr 15
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.
Apr 22
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.
Feb 13
10:00 AM
Colonial Kids Cook: Marzipan
As part of the special program "Sugar, Spice and All Things Nice: Confectionery in Colonial America", children will be able to make their own marzipan hedgehog. Limit 10 children (one child per family, plus 1 adult chaperone for each child).
Feb 13
2:00 PM
Colonial Confectionery: An Introduction to Sugar Plate
Experience a rare hands-on opportunity to work with Sugar Plate and 18th-century decorative foods. Adults only - Limit 10 participants.
Apr 3
10:00 AM
The Arts and Mysteries of Brewing
Beer was a common beverage in the 18th century—even for children. Enjoy this enlightening demonstration of the brewing process as it was practiced in the 18th-century.
Apr 27
10:00 AM
The Arts and Mysteries of Brewing
Beer was a common beverage in the 18th century—even for children. Enjoy this enlightening demonstration of the brewing process as it was practiced in the 18th-century.
Mar 24
3:15 PM
What Holds the Future
Following Lord Dunmore’s flight from Williamsburg with his family, a decision is made to auction off the Palace slaves to raise money for the war. This tight-knit group of enslaved people are thrown into chaos, and must unite in their last moments together. But past hurts and broken promises threaten to pull them apart, and at least one will make the ultimate sacrifice. Weather permitting.
Mar 31
3:15 PM
What Holds the Future
Following Lord Dunmore’s flight from Williamsburg with his family, a decision is made to auction off the Palace slaves to raise money for the war. This tight-knit group of enslaved people are thrown into chaos, and must unite in their last moments together. But past hurts and broken promises threaten to pull them apart, and at least one will make the ultimate sacrifice. Weather permitting.
Apr 7
3:15 PM
What Holds the Future
Following Lord Dunmore’s flight from Williamsburg with his family, a decision is made to auction off the Palace slaves to raise money for the war. This tight-knit group of enslaved people are thrown into chaos, and must unite in their last moments together. But past hurts and broken promises threaten to pull them apart, and at least one will make the ultimate sacrifice. Weather permitting.
Apr 14
3:15 PM
What Holds the Future
Following Lord Dunmore’s flight from Williamsburg with his family, a decision is made to auction off the Palace slaves to raise money for the war. This tight-knit group of enslaved people are thrown into chaos, and must unite in their last moments together. But past hurts and broken promises threaten to pull them apart, and at least one will make the ultimate sacrifice. Weather permitting.
Mar 18
10:15 AM
Storming the Palace
British sailors removed the colony's gunpowder from the Magazine in Williamsburg under cover of the dark night. The town fathers and the Williamsburg Independent Company plan to march on the Governor's Palace to demand its return. Did the royal governor remove the powder on orders from the British ministry? Virginians must act to defend their rights as British subjects. Observe and enjoy the action as if you were a citizen of Williamsburg in the 18th century.
Mar 22
10:15 AM
Storming the Palace
British sailors removed the colony's gunpowder from the Magazine in Williamsburg under cover of the dark night. The town fathers and the Williamsburg Independent Company plan to march on the Governor's Palace to demand its return. Did the royal governor remove the powder on orders from the British ministry? Virginians must act to defend their rights as British subjects. Observe and enjoy the action as if you were a citizen of Williamsburg in the 18th century.
Mar 24
10:15 AM
Storming the Palace
British sailors removed the colony's gunpowder from the Magazine in Williamsburg under cover of the dark night. The town fathers and the Williamsburg Independent Company plan to march on the Governor's Palace to demand its return. Did the royal governor remove the powder on orders from the British ministry? Virginians must act to defend their rights as British subjects. Observe and enjoy the action as if you were a citizen of Williamsburg in the 18th century.
Mar 25
10:15 AM
Storming the Palace
British sailors removed the colony's gunpowder from the Magazine in Williamsburg under cover of the dark night. The town fathers and the Williamsburg Independent Company plan to march on the Governor's Palace to demand its return. Did the royal governor remove the powder on orders from the British ministry? Virginians must act to defend their rights as British subjects. Observe and enjoy the action as if you were a citizen of Williamsburg in the 18th century.
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.