Colonial Williamsburg Capitol Building, Williamsburg

4.6
The Capitol at Williamsburg, Virginia housed the House of Burgesses of the Colony of Virginia from 1705, when the capital was relocated there from Jamestown, until 1779, when the capital was relocated to Richmond. Two capitol buildings served the colony on the same site: the first from 1705 until its destruction by fire in 1747; the second from 1753 to 1779.
The earlier capitol was reconstructed in the early 1930s as part of the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg. The reconstruction has thus lasted longer than the combined total of both original capitol buildings.
First Williamsburg Capitol (1705–1747)In 1698, the Capitol building in Jamestown, Virginia burned. Following the fire, the government of Virginia decided to relocate inland, away from the swamps at the Jamestown site.
A better Capitol building was constructed by Henry Cary, a contractor finishing work on the College of William and Mary's Wren Building (the legislature's temporary home). Begun in 1701, the Capitol was completed in 1705, although the legislature moved in during 1704. In 1714, the Governor's Palace was constructed between the College and the Capitol.
The Colonial Capitol was a two-story H-shaped structure, functionally two buildings connected by an arcade. Each wing served one of the two houses of the Virginia legislature, the Council and the House of Burgesses. The first floor of the west building was for the General Court and the colony's secretary, the first floor of the east for the House of Burgesses and its clerk. As a result of the fires that had destroyed several prior Virginia capitols, Cary built the first Capitol without fireplaces. In 1723, chimneys were added for fireplaces to help keep the Capitol dry. On January 30, 1747, the building burned and only some walls and the foundation remained.
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Colonial Williamsburg Capitol Building Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
148 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • You will learn a lot visiting this part of Colonial Williamsburg. It takes you back in time for the moments you are there.  more »
  • Quite an impressive structure, which was reconstructed according to some plans recovered in England on the origianl site. We toured this on our own early in the week but returmed for a more intensive ...  more »
Google
  • The interpreter or presentation offered by gentleman was absolutely the best of entire village. He was so informative and shared all history of events on location. The Afro-American gentleman was fantastic and we thanked him profusely upon exit. The dining area is definitely how I want to renovate my home like when I return. ;)
  • Historic Williamsburg located in Virginia is a history learning experience, which I highly recommend, it takes us back in time to the civil war. Prepare to spend time exploring the different areas via bus tours. An amazing historical experience for the entire family

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