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16. Woodbury's Historic Gems - The Glebe House & Hurd House

To reach Woodbury's two historic gems, the Herd House and the Glebe House, take Hollow Rd. off Rte. 6 in the center of town.

The Hurd House is the oldest building in town and the oldest structure on its original site in Litchfield County. The Herd House is unique because it consists of two houses, one built in 1680 and the other built in 1720 that were joined together to form one house. Today, in the upstairs hall, to the left of the hall window, you can see where the two houses were joined. The house is furnished with 17th and 18th century furniture and art.

Just beyond the Hurd House, is the Glebe House dating from the 1740's. The Glebe House became a minister's farm or glebe for Woodbury's first Episcopal minister, John Rutgers Marshall. Only weeks after American Independence was secure, a group of clergy met secretly at the Glebe House, to elect the Reverend Dr. Samuel Seabury as the first Bishop in the new nation, a decision that assumed the separation of church and state, and religious tolerance in the new nation. This event established the Glebe House as the birthplace of the Episcopal Church in America.

The Glebe House was restored in 1923 by the Seabury Society and furnished with period furniture depicting the Revolutionary era when John and Sarah Marshall and their nine children lived here. The Garden surrounding the house was designed in 1927 by Gertrude Jekyll widely considered to be England's most important 20th century garden designer and writer best known for transforming gardens from geometric Victorian schemes to informal English country designs. The garden consists of a planted stone terrace, an intimate rose alle and 600 feet of classic English styled mixed borders and foundation plantings, that are characteristic of Jekyll's pleasing perennial clusters, colors and textures. This is the only extant Jekyll garden in the U.S.