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Gunston Hall

GUNSTON HALL, (house open to public; gardens only during annual April Garden Week). The house stands on land patented in 1651 by Richard Turney, who was hanged for his part in Bacon's Rebellion of 1676, and was built by the fourth George Mason, author of the Virginia Bill of Rights. The plans were made by William Buckland, probably with the assistance of Thomas Mason, brother of the owner, who brought Buckland from England for the work. The building is of rectangular story-and-a-half type characteristic of 18th cen- tury Virginia architecture, but its details are highly individual. Both front and rear porches are noteworthy, the former closely following the lines of the Temple of Tyche at Eumeneia in Asia Minor, and the latter being eight-sided, with pointed arches, one of the rare examples of Colonial Gothic. The enrichment of ornament in the interior is not surpassed in any other house of its day in America; the Chinese Chippendale drawing-room represented the most fashionable mode in England at the time of the building. Another unusual feature is the staircase, with risers so low that it gives almost the effect of a ramp. The gardens are beau tiful and the boxwood is famous.