Grissel Hay Kitchen

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Grissel Hay Kitchen


Grissell Hay Lodging House (Williamsburg, Va.)
Block 29. Building 03.
Kitchens - Virginia - Williamsburg
Historic buildings - Virginia - Williamsburg
Architecture, Colonial - Virginia - Williamsburg


Exterior of the Grissell Hay Kitchen, viewed from North England Street, 1933. The one and a half story structure with a large chimney is a typical form for a colonial kitchen, and provided a freestanding building for cooks to work in. This allowed the home to stay cooler during summer months and helped to prevent fires from spreading beyond the outbuilding.  The Grissell Hay Kitchen stands behind the Grissell Hay Lodging House (not pictured here), which "…may be one of the first houses on Market Square."

The Grissell Hay Lodging House, Kitchen, and other outbuildings are located on the corner of Nicholson and North England Street, and are original structures dating to the eighteenth century. “The core of the house may date from around 1720, when it belonged to Dr. Archibald Blair, a Scottish physician and a partner in Williamsburg’s leading mercantile business, the Prentis Store. The present exterior probably dates from the second half of the eighteenth century. Apothecary Peter Hay, whose shop on Duke of Gloucester Street burned in 1756, lived here in the 1760s. After Hay’s death, his widow, Grissell, operated the dwelling as a lodging house. Widows who needed to support themselves and their children often kept lodging houses (the equivalent of today’s bed-and-breakfasts).”

(Source: Michael Olmert and Suzanne Coffman, Official Guide to Colonial Williamsburg [Williamsburg, VA: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2007], 48).


Shaw, Thomas Mott



Date Created



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Rights Holder

Special Collections, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Graphite on paper

Physical Dimensions

45.5 x 31 cm


Shaw, Thomas Mott, “Grissel Hay Kitchen,” John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, accessed May 17, 2022,