Explore History at George Mason’s Gunston Hall

History & Heritage, Magazine Features

Listen to diverse stories, and discover natural beauty at Gunston Hall

Sometimes referred to as the “Forgotten Founder,” George Mason often gets overshadowed by his neighbor, George Washington.

An architect of the American Revolution and a leading proponent of both limiting government tyranny and protecting citizens’ rights, Mason (1725-1792) was the author of the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights, one of the main authors of the Virginia Constitution and he co-authored with George Washington, the 1774 Fairfax Resolves.

He played a significant role in the 1787 Constitutional Convention and was one of the three delegates who did not sign the new Constitution because it did not contain a Bill of Rights. After the Constitutional Convention, he spent his time lobbying for a Bill of Rights and died just over nine months after the U.S. Bill of Rights was passed on December 15, 1791. He was a friend to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison as well as other early American founding fathers.

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Gunston Hall is a magnificent 18th-century Georgian home

At the Fairfax County, Virginia historic home and 1-acre garden of Mason and his family, the story of this bold thinker is front and center in our exhibit Revolutionary Rights. Built between 1755-1759, Gunston Hall is a magnificent 18th-century Georgian home surrounded by some 550+ (at one time it included 5,500 acres) of grounds along the Potomac River and is dedicated to preserving the story of those who lived there through active archaeology and educational programs. Gunston Hall was designed by Architect William Buckland and the carvings were made by Master Carver William Bernard Sears.

Located 25 minutes from Washington, D.C. and  15 minutes from Mt. Vernon.


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