On a picture perfect November afternoon, we arrived at London Town and Gardens for a walking tour of this historic colonial town and gardens. As we head into a season where we will need to find more and more activities outdoors, with plenty of room to spread out, the Walking Tour at London Town checks all the boxes.
Take A Walk
Claire Goode looking incredibly authentic in Colonial garb. Image courtesy of the author.
We met our tour guide, Claire Goode looking incredibly authentic in Colonial garb, complete with a long skirt, apron, and bonnet. As expected, she was remarkably knowledgeable about the history of London Town, a tobacco port founded in 1683. The fun feature of the tour was how our guide personalized her colorful stories with actual names of residents and detailed events in their lives. As we walked towards the buildings, London Town came to life through Claire's impressive story-telling.
History of Londontown
The Carpenter's Shop in London Town is on the walking tour. Image courtesy of the author.
Between 1720 and 1730, Londontown grew to a population of about 500. The boom of Londontown was directly tied to the tobacco industry. However, when crops were not rotated properly, the soil grew weak and tobacco farming was no longer sustainable. Eventually, London Town dwindled in size and the bustling port town began to fade. As you walk, you will learn the inner workings of the town and it's former residents while visiting original buildings along the way.
Buildings on the tour:
- Lord Mayor’s Tenement
- Carpenter’s Shop
- Tobacco Barn
- William Brown Tavern/Inn
William Brown House
Claire regaled us with anecdotes of William Brown, his wife and their five children. Little is known for certain of his land of origin or date of birth- but through interpretation of historical data, court records, documents, and newspaper articles of the day, his life emerges. He was ambitious about his business interests which led to the founding of Londontown. Be sure to book your own tour between now and December so you can experience the story for yourself. Another highlight was seeing the gardens changing into their Fall best. The historic property also hosts winter tours of the garden, details are available here.
William Brown was ambitious about his business interests which led to the founding of Londontown. The William Brown House, image courtesy of the author.
On December 12, check out Colonial Yuletide, a family-friendly program exploring the lives and traditions of people celebrating holidays in the Colonial Chesapeake. It will be held in the morning, as well as an adults-only program that same evening entitled, Yuletide After Dark. The evening program offers a sampling of four colonial-era, alcoholic beverages, bonfires, fun stories, and more! Both programs include a walking tour of the site. More information is available on the events page.