Gunston Hall is the historic Georgian-style home of George Mason IV (1725-1792), a fourth generation Virginian, senior statesman, and author of seminal documents such as the Fairfax Resolves, the Virginia State Constitution, and most significantly the Virginia Declaration of Rights. In writing the Virginia Declaration of Rights, Mason was among the first to articulate, express, and call for such fundamental American liberties as religious tolerance, freedom of the press, the right to trial by a jury of one’s peers, and the separation of powers in government. His writings influenced the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, and historians have called him “The Father of the Bill of Rights.”
Originally a thriving 5,500-acre plantation located along the Potomac River in Fairfax County, Virginia, Gunston Hall today is a 550-acre National Historic Landmark whose mission is to stimulate the exploration and understanding of principles expressed by George Mason in the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights.
The visitor center and mansion are open to the public 362 days a year, and daily tours invite visitors to explore details of George Mason’s life and his ideas, and to think critically about the important principles and implications of the Virginia Declaration of Rights. In addition, guests are able to experience self-guided exhibits and tours of the reconstructed outbuildings (schoolhouse, kitchen, etc.), a recently restored 18th century garden, an active archaeology program, and hiking trails. The property is also a certified nature sanctuary and its extensive Bluebird Trail has been designated a “Virginia Treasure.”