Gloucester/Mathews House and Garden Tour
April 18 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm$45
Gloucester/Mathews House and Garden Tour – Historic Garden Week in Virginia
Hosted by the Garden Club of Gloucester
Saturday, April 18, 2020
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Quaint, historic and coastal, Mathews has been described as one of the “Coolest Small Towns in America.” It boasts a historic downtown with shopping, dining, art galleries and charming bed and breakfasts. Reflecting the maritime heritage of this Chesapeake Bay community, the homes and gardens showcased are all on the pristine waters of the East River. Tour four historic homes and three guest cottages located close to each other and to downtown on this driving and shuttle tour. Spend a day or the weekend for a taste of authentic coastal living.
Stately Palace Green, c. 1835, and its guest cottage sit behind a sweeping lawn dappled by the shade of mature trees. It has been owned by the same family for 100 years and as a result has an extensive and fascinating collection of family antiques and history, as well as an impressive art collection. Riverlawn, built in 1874, is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a recently renovated three-story center hall treasure bursting with art and many architectural surprises. It is situated on 20 scenic acres and includes an additional cottage. Riverlawn is graced with numerous old growth hardwood trees, including a massive willow oak which measures 23 feet in circumference. Samarkand is a classically elegant three-story Federal-style home built in 1927 by a shellfish tycoon and includes a marble foyer, raised-panel wainscoting and coffered ceilings. It is surrounded by 26 bucolic acres which lends itself to strolls through the extensive collection of specimen trees, crepe myrtles, camelias, boxwoods and perennials. Weston Hall is a craftsman-style home built from 1900-1919 and looks across to the last original tide mill in the Mobjack area. Built to resemble the layout of a ship, the wide entry hall is 50 feet long and sweeps from the land side entrance to the water side. The homeowner is a painter and her artist’s touch is apparent throughout the home, recently renovated guest house, and garden.
For detailed property, ticket, and activity descriptions, please go to
Day-of-Tour Tickets: $45 pp. Available on tour day at headquarters and Samarkand, starting at 9:30 a.m. by credit card, cash or check. Not available at other houses.
Advance Tickets: $35 pp. Children 12 and under are free. No single-site tickets sold. Available at vagardenweek.org. Tickets available locally until Wednesday, April 15th, at Mathews Visitor Center in Mathews, Up South, and Brent & Becky’s Bulbs in Gloucester, and Little England Mercantile in Hayes. Check or cash only.
Tour Headquarters: Christ Episcopal Church, 320 Williams Wharf Rd., Mathews, 23109. Docent-led tours of the church from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., tickets and maps available on tour day.
Lunch: $13 pre-ordered box lunches from Nuttall Country Store will be available for pick-up at Williams Wharf Landing. At the same location, the Virginia Blue Crab food truck will serve crab cakes, crab soup and other crab specialties from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Landing is a 10-minute walk from the Tour Headquarters, or accessed via shuttle and has indoor and outdoor seating. Lunch also available at Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, 7900 Daffodil Lane, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. by Shore Bites, classic American Fare with a coastal twist.
Special Activities: Master Gardeners of Gloucester available for guided tours of Brent & Becky’s Bulbs Chesapeake Bay-friendly gardens from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Brent & Becky’s Bulbs is located at 7900 Daffodil Lane, Gloucester 23072.
Boat tour on an authentic Chesapeake Bay deadrise out of Williams Wharf Landing with commentary on history and oyster production. Tours take one hour and depart at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2 p.m. $25 pp. Must be booked ahead at (804) 815-6132 or email@example.com.
Rowing demonstrations on the East River at Williams Wharf Landing during lunch hours, wind and weather dependent.
Complimentary walking tours of Mathews’ charming downtown area will leave from the Visitors Center, 239 Main St., at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tours are approximately 30 minutes.
Art and flower exhibit at the Bay School Community Arts Center, 279 Main St., Mathews 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Complimentary homemade cookies and lemonade served from 2 to 5 p.m. in the gardens at Samarkand.
For questions please contact Peggy Montgomery, Chair at (804) 516-5261 or Lynne Manning, Vice-Chair at (919) 880-2329 Gloucester@vagardenweek.org.