Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum, Bristol, RI is located at 101 Ferry Road in this coastal southern New England town facing out onto the Narragansett Bay.
The current house is the second one to be constructed on this property; its predecessor burned down in 1906. Its English Manor style includes carved gargoyles fashioned after a 13th Century English manor.
The house is narrow, with its 45 rooms filling the space from north to south. Most main floor rooms face onto the Bay and have French doors onto porches and terraces.
Elaborately adorned ceilings can be found throughout the main floor.
Photographs reveal that the pre-1910 furnishings are still intact today as the Van Wickles family that had built this house had arranged them, including some pieces that date back to the 1600s.
Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum, Bristol, RI includes 33 acres of gardens trees and lawns with original stone structures in place today from the late 19th Century. 500 varieties of shrubs and trees are here including a Sequoia. Gravel paths allow for unhindered transit across the lawn and through the gardens. A rock garden can be visited along the shoreline. Benches are located around the grounds.
There is a rose garden and even a bamboo grove that can be explored.
There are numerous educational events held here that focus on horticulture, botany and landscaping as well as lectures and seminars on the history based in this house, its furnishings and its former inhabitants. There is even a summer day camp for children held here on the grounds.
Cel phone audio tours of the gardens are available.
A number of special events occur here during the warmer months which include intimate garden tours with groundskeepers. Musical and theatrical performances are also organized here.
The Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum, Bristol, RI can arrange group tours for groups of 10 people or more. Upon request, lunch can be served at the manor on a limited basis. Guided tours usually run about 90 minutes in all including both the house and some of the gardens.
Parking is available on the grounds.
The first floor of the mansion is wheelchair accessible. There is no air conditioning within the mansion however there is usually a breeze from the Bay that keeps the house cool.
Children under five are admitted free of charge. Annual members are also exempt of admission for visits here.
The manor and gardens can be toured between early April and early October on Wednesday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM and on most holidays that fall on a Monday. Sunday hours of operation are from 10 AM to 3 PM.
The gardens and the grounds are open throughout the year from 10 AM to 5 PM although from mid May to late October closing is at 4 PM.