Featured in New England’s Historic Homes & Gardens by Kim Knox Beckius and William H. Johnson, the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion is the former home of the wildly corrupt and scandal-ridden Benning Wentworth, first royal governor of New Hampshire. The forty-room home, which dates back to 1755, overlooks Portsmouth’s beautiful Little Harbor. A visit to the sprawling hundred-acre gentleman’s farm almost guarantees a spectacular view. In May, lilac bushes imported by Wentworth in the 1750s flourish, mixing their sweet, floral scent with the salty air.
If you don’t get your history fix from the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion, the nearby Strawbery Banke Museum is sure to whet your appetite. The 10-acre site is one of America’s oldest continuously occupied neighborhoods, and it offers a look back at Portsmouth over the last four centuries.
IF YOU GO:
375 Little Harbor Road
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
To learn more about the property, pick up a copy of New England’s Historic Homes & Gardens at the site’s gift shop or at one of these bookstores:
Portsmouth is one of our favorite cities in all of New England. Full of independent stores and great restaurants, it is a great place to spend a day or two. Refuel after the long day of exploring at a few of our favorite local places:
- Breaking New Grounds is centrally located, making it a great place to grab a specialty coffee and bakery treat. On warm days, be sure to order the gelato.
- Black Trumpet Bistro is the perfect date spot following a day of sightseeing. The intimate dining room and cozy wine bar offer pretty views of the Piscataqua River.
- Portsmouth Gas Light Co. has an extensive menu that’s sure to please everyone in your party. Take advantage of the nice weather by sitting on the deck, which often features live music.
This post is part of a larger series celebrating the sites included in our latest title, New England’s Historic Homes & Gardens, by Kim Knox Beckius with photography by William H. Johnson. See the recent Hildene post and last week’s Adams National Historical Park post, and keep an eye out for fun spring getaway ideas throughout the month!