Govenor John Langdon House
Governor John Langdon House is an exceptional Georgian mansion which George Washington “esteemed the first” in Portsmouth. Its reception rooms are of a grand scale suited to ceremonial occasions and are ornamented by elaborate wood carving in the Rococo style. John Langdon was a merchant, shipbuilder, Revolutionary War leader, signer of the United States Constitution, and three-term governor of New Hampshire. He built this impressive home to express his status as Portsmouth's leading citizen.
After Langdon's death in 1819, the house was occupied by other leading families, and at the end of the nineteenth century, Langdon descendants purchased the house and restored it to its eighteenth-century appearance. They added onto the rear of the house a substantial wing designed by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White to house modern necessities.
Visitors to the house learn about the history of Portsmouth through the life of John Langdon and others who lived here. The house tells the story of the early colony of New Hampshire, the glory days of the city’s mercantile boom, and the Colonial Revival movement that blossomed in Portsmouth during the early twentieth century.
Friday – Sunday, June 1 – October 27
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tours on the hour. Last tour at 4:00 p.m.
Closed July 4
The Governor John Langdon House is a Historic New England property.
Top photo: Governor John Langdon House - Governor John Langdon House is an exceptional Georgian mansion which George Washington “esteemed the first” in Portsmouth. Its reception rooms are of a grand scale suited to ceremonial occasions and are ornamented by elaborate wood carving in the Rococo style.
Bottom photo: Entry hall - The ornate carvings and large dimensions both inside and outside the house are unmistakable symbols of John Langdon’s wealth and status. This stairway is attributed to Piscataqua joiner Ebenezer Clifford, although the house construction was supervised by local master joiners Michael Whidden and Daniel Hart. The latter two men were also employed by Langdon at his shipyard. While the traditional Georgian design of a wide center hallway, running the length of the house with a center arch is easily recognized in Portsmouth, the elaborate woodwork can only be found in the Langdon House. The balusters framing the stairway are of a traditional Portsmouth design and feature fluted spiral and fluted turnings.