A Brief History of Warner Hall Plantation

In the winter of 1642, Augustine Warner I arrived in Jamestown with twelve new settlers for the Virginia Colonies. For bringing these colonists to the new frontier, Warner was given a “head Grant” of 600 acres in Gloucester, Virginia. He eventually expanded his acreage at his new plantation, WARNER HALL, to several thousand acres prior to his death in 1674.

During his life he was Justice of York, Justice of Gloucester, and a member of the King’s Council in Virginia.  Augustine Warner was the great, great grandfather of George Washington, and an ancestor of Robert E. Lee. Queen Elizabeth II is a direct descendant of Augustine Warner I through the Bowes-Lyon family and the Earl of Strathmore. Warner Hall is referred to as the home of the Queen’s American ancestors.

Augustine Warner II (1642 – 1681) inherited Warner Hall upon the death of his father in 1674, and further developed the plantation house and property. Augustine Warner II, like his father, was a member of the King’s Council and also served as Speaker of The House of Burgesses in Williamsburg. Augustine Warner II (1642-1681) inherited Warner Hall upon the death of his father in 1674, and further developed the plantation house and property.

Augustine Warner II died at the age of 39 on June 19, 1681, predeceasing his wife,  Mildred Reade Warner, who he had married by 1666.

In 1676, Nathaniel Bacon came to Gloucester after burning Jamestown and made Warner Hall his headquarters.  It was at Warner Hall that Bacon invited the “Oath of Fidelity” of his fellow countrymen.

All of Augustine Warner II ‘s sons died young and when Augustine himself died in 1681 at the age of 39, he left three daughters, Mary, Mildred and Elizabeth. Mary went on to marry John Smith, of Purton, on the York, and their son, Augustine Smith was said to have been one of the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe who accompanied Governor Spotswood on his famous expedition across the Blue Ridge Mountains in 1716.

Mildred Warner married Lawrence Washington and their son, Augustine, married Mary Ball. Augustine and Mary became the proud parents of George Washington, who was named after his great-grandfather, George Reade, founder of Yorktown. Perhaps the most recognized patriot in American history, General George Washington led the Colonies to independence from the British in the Revolution of 1776.  General George Washington continued his role as a great patriot in 1789 and become the first President of the United States of America. In a famous funeral phrase, Henry Lee declared that Washington was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

Elizabeth, the third daughter of Augustine Warner II, became the wife of John Lewis and inherited Warner Hall.  Their son, John Lewis II (1702-1754) was a member of His Majesty’s Council, and was prominent in Gloucester County. The Lewis Family occupied Warner Hall for generations and members of the family immigrated to all parts of the United States. Lewis family descendants built a number of important Virginia homes including Belle Farm, Eagle Point, Abingdon and Severn Hall. Colonel Fielding Lewis of Belle Farm, was the grandson of Elizabeth and John Lewis.  Col. Lewis was married twice, first to Catherine Washington, and after her death, to Elizabeth (Betty) Washington, sister of George. One of Fredericksburg’s most beautiful and historic homes, Kenmore, was built by Fielding Lewis for his wife Betty.

As the Warner – Lewis family grew over the years so did the size of the house. From the time of Augustine Warner II, to his daughter Elizabeth and her husband John Lewis, the family and plantation prospered.  Warner Hall came to consist of a large center structure with two separate detached brick dependencies. The east building was the plantation kitchen and laundry, and the west building was the tutor’s quarters, plantation schoolroom and shipping office.

In 1740, a fire destroyed the original 17th century Warner home, but the Lewis family rebuilt their residence on the same foundations. The property remained in the Lewis family until the 1830’s. In 1849, the center section of the original Lewis house suffered a devastating fire, leaving the two brick east and west dependencies and out buildings. Before the turn of the century, the Cheney family acquired the property and built the present wood-framed Colonial Revival mansion that was popular in that era, on the original foundation and of the same floor plan as the Lewis house.

Listed by both the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission, The Inn at Warner Hall continues to be of major architectural and genealogical significance in American history. Warner Hall has long been considered one of the premier properties in the Virginia Tidewater area. The property is located 3 ½ miles from U.S. Route 17, and Colonial Williamsburg and the Hampton Roads area are just 30 minutes away. The State capital of Richmond and the Norfolk Harbor are approximately a one hour drive.

    • Celebrate a “Special Occasion”

      A professionally arranged bouquet of gorgeous seasonal flowers, or a dozen roses with assorted greenery and keepsake vase, paired with a bottle of Chandon Champagne, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries and Bailey’s White Chocolate Mousse Cups, all enjoyed in the privacy of your room will make the occasion not only “Special” but, “Simply Divine….”

      Advance Notice required (72 hours suggested)
      $99 including tax

    • Honeymoon and Anniversary Special

      What better way to celebrate your lives together than spending three nights surrounded in Warner Hall luxury and getting 50% discount for your third night! Visit the Inn at Warner Hall within two months of your actual anniversary or wedding date and enjoy a wonderful environment in which to spend time together. Add a “Special Occasions Package” and really make it a celebration! But be prepared to keep it fun and exciting! There will be a surprise “Dating Game” quiz to verify dates of engagement, marriage, most romantic moment shared, etc. etc….Match all the questions and win a bottle of Champagne!

      Inquire with Inn Keeper
      Lodging Prices and availability may vary

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    • Teresa and Troy, What a fabulous palace you have! So glad we had the chance to stay with you recently. From the welcome you provided and the evening wine and delightful home-made snacks, to the lovely room we had and the superb breakfast, we really enjoyed our stay. You have a golden place in Warner Hall!

    • We all felt like we were living in a fairy tale because everything was exceptionally beautiful! The setting of Warner Hall is so peaceful and bucolic. The staff is terrific for how they are quietly at work in the background, making sure that everything is clean, ready and appropriately stocked. Every meal was spectacular! We were also impressed with how quickly you were able to get the ceremony area wiped down and ready for action after the rain.

    • My husband and I tried the Inn at Warner Hall because of an opportunity through Living Social. Our two-night stay was the best experience we have ever had at an Inn/B&B and feel extremely fortunate that this gem fell into our laps! The atmosphere was extraordinary – the bedrooms and common areas were beautiful!

    • Join Us: Summer Fun Dance Party 2017

      It’s summer-summer-summer TIME at the Inn at Warner Hall. And you know what that means? Time for the Summer Fun Dance Party, featuring Good Shot Judy and Prost! Food Truck! Join us Saturday, August 19, 2017 from 6 to 10:30 pm. Limited tickets available for purchase here, or by calling the Inn. Light Hors d’oeuvres: 6:00 – 6:45 […]

    • Double Rainbow Wedding Thank You

      It’s always such a treat to receive a thank you note from the brides, grooms and family members that celebrate their weddings at the Inn at Warner Hall! And that was true this week when Brenda from Mari and JT’s wedding wrote both Warner Hall and A Sharper Palate (our exclusive caterer) to say thank […]

    • Expert Wedding Guidance and Expert Help

      “Thanks again for all of your expert help and guidance during our special day. You and Troy are the best – everyone really enjoyed the wedding. I had several people tell me that it was the best wedding they ever attended. The combination of your support and expert guidance along with a truly special place […]

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