English Garden, Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia
Colonial Williamsburg is a living-history museum and private foundation representing the historic district of the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. The 301-acre (122 ha) Historic Area includes buildings dating from 1699 to 1780 (during which the city was the capital of Colonial Virginia), as well as Colonial Revival and more recent reconstructions. The Historic Area is an interpretation of a Colonial American city, with exhibits including dozens of authentic or re-created buildings related to colonial and American Revolutionary War history.
Middle Plantation was renamed "Williamsburg" by Royal Governor Francis Nicholson, proponent of the change, in honor of King William III of England. The new site was described by Nicholson as a place where "clear and crystal springs burst from the champagne soil" and was seen as a vision of future utopia. He had the city surveyed and a plan laid out by Theodorick Bland taking into consideration the fine brick College Building and Bruton Parish Church. The main street was named Duke of Gloucester after the eldest son of Queen Anne.
For most of the 18th century, Williamsburg was the center of government, education and culture in the Colony of Virginia. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, James Monroe, James Madison, George Wythe, Peyton Randolph, and others molded democracy in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States here. During the American Revolutionary War, in 1780, the capital of Virginia was moved to Richmond, about 55 miles (90 km) west, to be more distant from British attack, where it remains today