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"Historic Williamsburg ~ Powder Magazine" Virginia Things to Do Tip by starship

Virginia Things to Do: 263 reviews and 701 photos

  Historic Powder Magazine behind piked barricades
by starship

Another structure which will always remind me of my visits to Williamsburg is the historic Powder Magazine." The octagonal brick building and the wall surrounding it are reminants of the American Revolution, but the powder magazine's history goes back even further. Governor Alexander Spotswood and the General Assembly agreed to "erect a structure to store military supplies" which were given to the colony by Queen Ann and so was completed by 1716 -- the brick wall and guard house were added for protection in 1755.

As is the case with many historic buildings which survive hundreds of years, the Powder Magazine has served more than one purpose including: a market place, church, and storage space for military supplies during the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. Purchased by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA) in 1889 and in very poor repair, the structure was restored with funds from the APVA and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Today, the Powder Magazine is used strictly as a small museum.

The grounds around the Powder Magazine are a favorite place for children to release their energy by playing soldier, although as can be seen in the accompanying photo, the piked barricades surrounding the Powder Magazine parimeters are not for climbing or playing on and could be dangerous.

Address: Duke of Gloucester St., Historic Williamsburg

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 22, 2009
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