Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum
101 Ferry Road, Bristol, RI

Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum

101 Ferry Road
(Rt. 114)
Bristol, RI 02809
Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, Bristol — Photo Courtesy of Snap Photography
101 Ferry Road
(Rt. 114)
Bristol, RI 02809

Maximum Capacity: 225 people
Availability
Blithewold is a beautifully landscaped historic public garden situated on Bristol Harbor with sweeping views overlooking Narragansett Bay. A forty-five room mansion, trees, lawns, flowers, gardens, and the sea combine to produce an aesthetic experience that is exciting and refreshing.

Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum offers a particularly beautiful and gracious setting for private parties and corporate functions. April through October, the gardens and arboretum are especially lovely. Events may be held outside as weather permits.

Guided tours of the mansion and the extensive gardens are very popular and can be arranged. Clambakes and barbecues are a wonderful way for an organization to entertain clients or employees and their families. The warmth and charm of the Blithewold mansion makes it an ideal location throughout the year for corporate and private receptions such as Staff Dinners, Client Receptions, or Anniversary Parties. On Monday and Tuesday, clambakes may be planned for a 4-hour rental. Please call for rates and availability.

All rental fees include:
*Use of mansion (where applicable) and grounds
*Events tent with clear sides, hard surface floor and lighting
*Coordination of deliveries and services
*Manager, staff and security throughout the event
*Other rentals including tables, chairs, dance floor, and the caterer are the responsibility of the lessee.
Photos

Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, Bristol — The following caterers have been approved to provide food and beverage service: Blackstone Caterers www.blackstonecaterers.com Blue Rocks Catering www.newportcaterer.com Catering Collaborative www.cateringcollaborative.com Fine Catering by Russell Morin www.morins.com Glorious Affairs www.gloriousaffairs.com Gatehouse Catering www.thegatehouse.com L'ame, Catering to the Soul www.catertothesoul.com McGrath Clambakes, Inc. www.riclambake.com Nancy & Jo-Anne Catering 508-673-7163 Plantation Catering of Newport www.plantationcateringofnewport.com

Photos published with permission of Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum

Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, Bristol — The following caterers have been approved to provide food and beverage service:

Blackstone Caterers www.blackstonecaterers.com
Blue Rocks Catering www.newportcaterer.com
Catering Collaborative www.cateringcollaborative.com
Fine Catering by Russell Morin www.morins.com 
Glorious Affairs www.gloriousaffairs.com 
Gatehouse Catering www.thegatehouse.com 
L'ame, Catering to the Soul www.catertothesoul.com
McGrath Clambakes, Inc. www.riclambake.com
Nancy & Jo-Anne Catering 508-673-7163 
Plantation Catering of Newport www.plantationcateringofnewport.comBlithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, Bristol — Reservations may be made for group visits daily from mid-April thru mid-October from 9 am to 3 pm. Holiday tours may be booked in November and December. Reservations are subject to availability. Two hours will allow ample time for the tour and a visit to the Gift Shop.Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, BristolBlithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, Bristol — Most of the main rooms in the Mansion are still as they were in the early years of this century. In all of the rooms except two, the wallpapers are original, and the two bedrooms which have been re-papered have been decorated with fine quality reproductions of the originals. We know from photographs and descriptions, that the furniture in each room is still as Bessie McKee arranged it in the early 1900's. The Collection includes Baccarat crystal, Gorham silver, and more than 30 sets of fine china with original hand-embroidered linens, family photographs and books. There are several Tiffany lamps, an extensive doll collection, letters and postcards from their world travel. Flower arrangements from the cutting gardens adorn the house now, as then. The living quarters are so complete that one imagines the family still lives there.Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, Bristol — Complement your tour with gourmet box lunches, a buffet lunch or tea on the porch overlooking the gardens and scenic bay. Lunch can also be served in the Mansion on a limited basis. Menus and prices are available upon request.

Workshops and lectures are available for 15 to 40 people during limited times. The Gift Shop is located next to the parking lot at the Visitor Center. It offers a variety of souvenirs, unique gifts, books and garden related items.Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, Bristol — Blithewold is a 33-acre estate in Bristol, Rhode Island - a spectacular property with lawns and gardens sweeping down to Narragansett Bay. It was established in the 1890's by Augustus and Bessie Van Wickle as their summer retreat. Augustus Van Wickle was from Hazleton, Pennsylvania, where his family was in the coal-mining business. He attended Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and came to love the Ocean State. In 1895 he impulsively purchased a 72' steam yacht from the Herreshoff boat-building company in Bristol, and immediately began the search for a suitable property to build a summer home for his family. Bessie Van Wickle was a very accomplished horticulturist, and her heart's desire was to have enough good land to establish gardens and an arboretum. Their daughter, Marjorie, born in 1883, was to inherit her mother's considerable talent for horticulture, and Bessie and Marjorie would spend the rest of their lives developing this beautiful property.
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Event Spaces
Blithewold MansionPhotos Available
General Event Space Max Capacity: 225 people
Blithewold Mansion, Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, Bristol — The house we know today is built of stone, in an English Country Manor style, and most of the furniture dates back to the original house. The family loved outdoor pursuits, and the very architecture of the mansion ensures that its occupants are constantly aware of their magnificent surroundings. The house is long and narrow so that all the main rooms look out onto Narragansett Bay, with large doors opening onto porches, balconies, terraces and gardens.
The house we know today is built of stone, in an English Country Manor style, and most of the furniture dates back to the original house. The family loved outdoor pursuits, and the very architecture of the mansion ensures that its occupants are constantly aware of their magnificent surroundings. The house is long and narrow so that all the main rooms look out onto Narragansett Bay, with large doors opening onto porches, balconies, terraces and gardens.

Photos published with permission of Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum

Blithewold Mansion, Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, Bristol — The house we know today is built of stone, in an English Country Manor style, and most of the furniture dates back to the original house. The family loved outdoor pursuits, and the very architecture of the mansion ensures that its occupants are constantly aware of their magnificent surroundings. The house is long and narrow so that all the main rooms look out onto Narragansett Bay, with large doors opening onto porches, balconies, terraces and gardens.Blithewold Mansion, Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, Bristol — Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum offers a particularly beautiful and gracious setting for private parties and corporate functions. April through October, the gardens and arboretum are especially lovely. The warmth and charm of the Blithewold mansion makes it an ideal location throughout the year for corporate and private receptions such as Staff Dinners, Client Receptions, or Anniversary Parties.Blithewold Mansion, Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, Bristol — The Dining Room furniture is made of oak and was made around the turn of the century, in a Baroque style.Blithewold Mansion, Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, BristolBlithewold Mansion, Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, Bristol — Events may be held outside as weather permits. Our events tent, with beautiful bluestone patterned flooring, is situated on the lawn overlooking sunsets and Narragansett Bay and the lawns may be used for games.Blithewold Mansion, Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, Bristol — Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum offers a particularly beautiful and gracious setting for wedding ceremonies, receptions, and other functions.  April through October, the gardens and arboretum are especially lovely.  Our wedding tent, with beautiful bluestone patterned flooring, is situated on the lawn overlooking sunsets and Narragansett Bay.Blithewold Mansion, Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, Bristol — A path from the Bosquet leads down to the Water Garden where visitors cross over the ponds by way of the small stone bridge and follow on to the Rock Garden that Bessie McKee designed in the early 1920's. The Rock Garden sits just a few yards away from the Bay. The garden is full of low growing perennials and features both sun loving and shade tolerant plants. There is something in bloom in the Rock Garden all season long.Blithewold Mansion, Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, Bristol — Visitors enter the grounds through the Rose Garden where 100 year old climbing roses grow on the fence that encloses the garden. The century-old chestnut rose dominates the garden especially when covered with thousands of single pink blossoms in early June. Passing through the moon gate in the Rose Garden to the rest of the property affords the visitor a first glimpse of the Great Lawn and Narragansett Bay.Blithewold Mansion, Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, Bristol — One of the couple's favorite shots taken from above with all wedding guests on the lawn and the couple on the terrace.Blithewold Mansion, Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, Bristol — A magically lit pathway. Courtesy of Adeline & Grace PhotographyBlithewold Mansion, Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, Bristol — Our reception tent is strung with beautiful twinkle lights to add to the romantic ambience.
Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum offers a particularly beautiful and gracious setting for wedding ceremonies, receptions, and other functions. April through October, the gardens and arboretum are especially lovely. Our wedding tent, with beautiful bluestone patterned flooring, is situated on the lawn overlooking sunsets and Narragansett Bay.

The first floor, terrace, and porches of the mansion may be used for the cocktail portion of your reception. For dinner and dancing guests move into our tent, which accommodates approximately 225. Only one wedding is held each day.

The house is built of stone, in an English Country Manor style, and most of the furniture dates back to the original house. The house is long and narrow so that all the main rooms look out onto Narragansett Bay, with large doors opening onto porches, balconies, terraces and gardens. Most of the main rooms in the Mansion are still as they were in the early years of this century. In all of the rooms except two, the wallpapers are original, and the two bedrooms which have been re-papered have been decorated with fine quality reproductions of the originals.
Links: Website
Supported Layouts and Capacities
Banquet - 8 per
Capacity: 225 People
Reception
Capacity: 225 People
Features
  • Atmosphere/Decor: Most of the main rooms in the Mansion are still as they were in the early years of this century. We know from photographs and descriptions, that the furniture in each room is still as Bessie McKee arranged it in the early 1900's.
  • Special Features: The house is not air-conditioned but on warm days the breeze off the bay keeps the mansion quite comfortable. The first floor of the mansion is accessible to the physically disabled.
Events TentPhotos Available
Outdoor Venue Max Capacity: 225 people
Location
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