Saturday, 19 September 2015

Colonial Williamsburg

A few pictures of a rather warm day in Colonial Williamsburg, the restored and rebuilt capital of the then British Colony of Virginia as it was in September 1781, just before the British Governor fled and the British were defeated by the American Allied Army at Yorktown.  Above is the rebuilt (1934) but still splendid Governor's Palace.   

This is the original Courthouse of the 18th century and we were happy to sit on benches in the relative cool to listen to the re-enactment of a trial - with members of the audience taking part!

Our next stop was at the armoury/magazine to see the best lines of weapons and stores.

A view from the armoury out to the Courthouse.

We visited a few authentic workshops and stores selling reproduction goods, traditionally made.

On occasions it was necessary to sit in the shade and watch the world go by..

It was surprising to learn in the blacksmith's shop that there were often female apprentices to the trade - usually daughters of the blacksmith.

In the yard behind, the biggest clone oven I had ever seen - big enough to bake bread and other necessities for a small army - which is what it was for.

In the tin workshop we were intrigued to learn that even in the 18th century tin plate was imported from the UK, including tin from Cornwall.

At the far end of the Main Street stands the seat of government and justice -  the Capitol building.  The building also houses a higher court - the highest in colonial Virginia and the Governor's chair.

Upstairs elegant meeting rooms where the Declaration of Rights of the People of Virginia was drawn up and pored over.

The view from the center of the Capitol building down the street shows the buildings importance in the city.

Now back in the gardens of the Givernor's Palace, it is 4pm or so but still very sunny and more than 30 degrees which makes a shady seat very attractive!
The Governor's Pakace is one of the few air conditioned buildings so that was also a good option!

A view from the Governor's Palace along Palace Green to where today's first photo was taken - we have come full circle!

There are many other pictures of Williamsburg in my June 2014 blog of my first visit - must learn how to make links!

Friday, 18 September 2015

Heading South to Williamsburg

We set off to Williamsburg, visiting the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden at Richmond on our way.  

Many of the flowers are over now and others were looking sad in the extreme heat.   This one, in a shady place, was an exception.. I am not sure if it is another variety of autumn crocus or a different bulb, no leaves.

Some of the roses were still blooming remarkably well..

In the orchid house and adjacent butterfly house, there were many colorful beauties..

We also saw beautiful butterflies flying free in the gardens..

At Williamsburg we arrived in time to see the Fife and Drum band and 'General Lafeyette addressing his troops..

We had dinner in 18thcentury style at the Kings Arms..

We were entertained by musicians and a local 'doctor' who offered to provide medical advice and treatment for a small fee..

It was getting dark as we headed back to the hotel..

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Plantation House

This afternoon, under an improbably blue sky, we visited Oatlands, a former plantation house and gardens near Leesburg.

In its heyday the plantation grew first tobacco and then grain crops, with the assistance of enslaved labour.

The house is Georgian with some later additions to make it habitable for a family until it was bequeathed fifty years ago to the National Trust for Historic Building Preservation.

The terraced garden, once created to grow fruit trees and bushes, vines, vegetables and herbs is now largely a flower garden, although the herb garden still flourishes.

In the ponds, some quite noisy little creatures..

In the gardens, which were definitely suffering from the hot and dry weather, there were still some remarkably fresh blooms..

This flower seemed rather unseasonal..  I think perhaps an Autumn crocus?  There was a whole bank of them..