The Grounds

Both the interior and exterior of Gunston Hall demonstrated the Masons’ good taste and refinement. The room arrangement, carvings, wall coverings, and furnishings combined to present a gracious, fashionable home. Visitors to the newly constructed and decorated home had no doubt that the owners were cultured, stylish people.

Outside told a similar story. George Mason shaped and interacted with the land in ways that underlined his status as one of the colony’s (and then state’s) leading planters, thinkers, and political actors. In fact, the landscape is arguably one of the most important extant documents of Mason’s personality and character. Mason self-consciously designed the setting for his home in ways that reflected European ideas of landscape, incorporating principles of perspective, symmetry, and grace. His careful arrangement of trees, walkways, fences, roads, etc. reminded his visitors of his education and leading role in Virginia society.