Trail News

A Historic Stay, A Heritage Paddle from the Inn at Warner Hall

Inn at Warner Hall Gloucester Virginia Aerial Severn River
March 7, 2019

Standing in the largest room on the third floor of the Inn at Warner Hall, one can see all that Austin desired.

The four windows here, nestled in the heart of the Middle Peninsula’s largest county, Gloucester, offer Severn River water and expansive pasture views. Virtually all of the 600-acre outline of the original property that Augustine Warner (nicknamed Austin) desired to make his family home in 1642 are visible from this perch.

What makes the view truly spectacular is that in many ways it has remained virtually unchanged in more than 350 years.

What makes it feel truly remarkable is the history present in the space.

Situated at the head of the Severn River, just around the bend from Captain Sinclair’s public access paddling location that’s part of the Virginia Water Trails network, Warner Hall stands on a neck of land that has been occupied and built upon continually from the mid-17th century.

The original site was established by Warner as a “land grant” from the British Crown in exchange for bringing 12 settlers across the Atlantic Ocean to Jamestown.

Warner Hall Plantation thrived for generations, as did the descendants of good ole Austin himself, including George Washington, the first president of the United States who was a frequent visitor to his grandparent’s plantation, Robert E. Lee, the most famous Civil War General, and Captain Meriwether Lewis, renowned explorer of the Lewis & Clark expedition.

Even Queen Elizabeth II, the current monarch of England, is a direct descendent of Warner. Interesting note you can throw out at a cocktail party: in England, Warner Hall is referred to as “the home of the Queen’s American ancestors.”

Today, Warner Hall consists of a Colonial Revival manor house which was rebuilt on the earlier 17th and 18th century foundation and now operates as a bed and breakfast by Innkeepers Troy and Theresa Stavens.

Why mention it here, as part of the Virginia Water Trails?

Glad you asked.

Capt Sinclair 3 Gloucester Virginia Sunset View


The Inn at Warner Hall, as noted above, is located just around the bend from Captain Sinclair’s on the Severn River. This publicly accessible waterfront property, highlighted on the Virginia Water Trails – Middle Peninsula interactive map, sits adjacent to Land’s End, the historic home of Revolutionary War hero Captain John Sinclair. For out of town visitors to the Middle Peninsula, Capt. Sinclair’s offers a perfect spot for outdoor family gatherings, hunting, bird watching, paddling, and more. With plenty of space for parking and loading and unloading kayaks and more, the Inn at Warner Hall is a great option for visiting the Middle Peninsula for a week or weekend packed full of paddling.

Warner Hall Boathouse Gloucester Virginia


The Warner Hall Boathouse located on the Severn River’s water edge at the Inn, is open for guests to use. From the boathouse you can launch your own paddling adventure, and even make your way over to Capt. Sinclair’s.

For the strongest of paddlers, you could go explore the many Middle Peninsula spots, and use Warner Hall as your start point.

Plus, can you just imagine paddling the same waters that George Washington himself set his gaze upon?


Warner Hall is a short drive away from Mathews County. Mathews’ idyllic location in the heart of rural coastal Virginia has several options for paddling adventures – including self-guided and guided tours.

Learn more about the Inn at Warner Hall here.  Photos courtesy of the Inn at Warner Hall.