Glebe House Museum
49 Hollow Road
Woodbury, CT 06798 | 203.263.2855
Wednesday-Sunday, 1-4 pm
November: Weekends only, 1-4 pm
Other times by appointment.
Together, the Glebe House and The Gertrude Jekyll Garden tell two distinct stories. Set in the picturesque Litchfield Hills in historic Woodbury’s center, the Glebe House offers visitors a glimpse of Revolutionary War-era Connecticut. The simple but elegant 18th-century farmouse is furnished as the home of Woodbury’s first Episcopal priest, Reverend John Marshall, his wife Sarah, and their nine children who lived in the ‘glebe’ during the turmoil of the American War for Independence. New England Anglicans, like the Marshalls, endured oppression during the war, as it was presumed they were loyal to the King. Only weeks after American independence was secured, a group of Episcopals met secretly at Glebe House to make a momentous decision—to take part in the building of a new nation while upholding their religious heritage. As a result, the Glebe House is considered the birthplace of the Episcopal Church in the New World.
The Glebe House was restored in 1923 under the direction of William Henry Kent, pioneer of early American decorative arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. One of the early historic house museums in the country, The Glebe House opened its doors to the public in 1925.
In 1926, the famed English horticultural designer and writer Gertrude Jekyll (pronounced jeek uhl) was commissioned to plan an “old fashioned” garden to enhance the newly created musuem. Jekyll had a profound influence on modern garden design and is widely considered the greatest gardener of the 20th century. Although a small garden in comparison to the c. 400 more elaborate designs she completed in England and on the continent, the Glebe House garden includes 600 feet of classic English style mixed border and foundation plantings, a planted stone terrace, and an intimate rose allée. For reasons unknown today, the garden Miss Jekyll planned was never fully installed in the 1920s and its very existence was forgotten. After the rediscovery of the plans in the late 1970s, the project was begun in earnest and is now being completed according to the original plans.
For admission information and directions, visit www.glebehousemuseum.org.