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A family country house
Overlooking a farm and pleasure grounds, this country seat, also known as The Grange, was a powerful force in the lives of five generations of the Codman family. Each generation left its mark, and the Codman Estate gradually came to symbolize the family’s distinguished past.
In the 1790s, John Codman carried out extensive improvements to the original Georgian house and surrounding grounds. Later, his grandson updated the house in keeping with Victorian taste and filled it with the finest New York furnishings. Today, the interiors are richly furnished with portraits, memorabilia, and art works collected in America, Europe, and elsewhere. They showcase the decorative schemes of every generation, including that of noted early twentieth-century interior designer Ogden Codman Jr. The grounds feature a hidden turn-of-the-century Italian garden with perennial beds, statuary, and a reflecting pool filled with water lilies, as well as a 1930s English cottage garden.
June – October, second and fourth Saturdays. Hourly guided tours 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
All group tours must be scheduled by appointment. In addition to open days, group tours may be scheduled at times the museum is closed to the public.
We are happy to work with you to customize your experience.
Codman Estate Museum Tour $15 per person. 1 hour.
Overlooking a farm and pleasure grounds, this country seat, also known as “the Grange,” was a powerful force in the lives of five generations of the Codman family. Each generation left its mark, and the estate came to symbolize the family’s fascinating past. Today the house is filled with art and memorabilia collected in Europe and America, showing the decorative schemes of every era, including those of noted early twentieth-century interior designer Ogden Codman Jr.
Codman Estate Grounds and Gardens Tour $25 per person. 1.5 hours.
Enjoy a guided tour of the Codman Estate’s historic landscape learning about its evolution and preservation. The last two generations of family members to live here between 1862 and 1968, made improvements to the grounds and gardens, while carefully preserving aspects of what their 18th century ancestors created here. The grounds feature a hidden Italianate garden, c. 1900, with perennial beds, statuary, and a reflecting pool filled with water lilies, as well as an English cottage garden, c. 1908. Suggested months for best blooms- May and June.
Home Work: Domestic Servants at the Codman Estate $25 per person. 1.5 hours.
Experience the Codman House from the servants’ point of view. Learn about the employees who lived and worked on the grounds and in the house making life on the estate possible. Parlor maids, chambermaids, cooks, nannies, caretakers, and chauffeurs-meet specific individuals who served on the estate some for a season and others for as long as fifty years.
Silent Footfalls: Enslavement on the Chambers- Russell- Codman Estate $25 per person. 1.5 hours.
For one hundred years, the Chambers-Russell-Codman family’s prosperity and property was based on the labor of enslaved people. Their investments in a slave trade economy, as well as marriage with other slave owning families helped form the economic foundation of their place in New England society. As the largest slave-owning farm in the area, this estate was home to a sizable number of enslaved people. Some of their names appear as property in the family’s official documents. This tour of the Chambers-Russell- Codman Estate will explore the significance of the family’s economic wealth generated from enslavement that benefitted all future generations well into the 19th and 20th centuries.
Up to 10 visitors can tour the house with each guide; generally we can accommodate up to 30 visitors in the house. Accommodations can be made for larger groups.
Please note that the tour requires a considerable amount of standing and climbing stairs. If members of your group need special assistance, please let the museum know in advance.
Receptive tour operator rates available upon request.
The tour leader and bus driver are welcome to a complimentary tour with the group.
A non-refundable deposit based on your maximum number is due upon booking. The outstanding balance must be paid when the group arrives on-site for the tour.
Please call two weeks in advance to confirm a guaranteed number of visitors.
A wide variety of restaurants, shops, historic sites, museums, and attractions near Codman Estate include: DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Mass Audubon, Orchard House, Concord Museum, Lexington Historical Sites, Minuteman National Park, AKA Bistro, Trails End Cafe, Colonial Inn, and the Manse.
Visit other Historic New England properties nearby. Package discounts available.
Gropius House, Lincoln – Walter Gropius, founder of the German design school known as the Bauhaus, was one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century. He designed Gropius House as his family home when he came to Massachusetts to teach architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
Lyman Estate and Greenhouses, Waltham – The Lyman Estate, also known as “the Vale,” is one of the finest examples in the United States of a country estate following the principles of eighteenth-century English naturalistic design. The Lyman Estate was the warm-weather retreat for four generations of the Lyman family. In 1793, shipping merchant Theodore Lyman commissioned famed architect Samuel McIntire to design and build a Federal-style house. The family enlarged the house in 1882 in the Victorian style and then remodeled it in the Colonial Revival style in 1917. The thirty-seven acre property includes beautifully preserved gardens and historic greenhouses. The Lyman Estate Greenhouses are among the oldest surviving greenhouses in the United States. The complex of four greenhouses consists of an 1804 grape house, 1820 camellia house, 1840 orchid house, and a 1930 sales greenhouse where visitors can purchase plants to take home.
Join us at our annual Antique Auto and Classic Car Show, the third Sunday in July. Enjoy more than 200 classic and antique vehicles, live music, food vendors, and tours of the Codman Estate. Please note, first floor tours are included with the event admission price, regular group tour offerings not available.
Join us at our annual Codman Estate Fine Arts and Crafts Festival, featuring the work of more than 100 artisans, live entertainment, demonstrations, food vendors, and tours of Codman Estate. This show takes place the second Saturday in September. Please note, first floor tours are included with the event admission price, regular group tour offerings not available.
One restroom is located in the house. Two handicapped accessible restrooms are located in the Carriage Barn.
The grounds feature a hidden turn-of-the-century Italian garden with perennial beds, statuary, and a reflecting pool filled with water lilies, as well as a 1930s English cottage garden.
Parking is located adjacent to the main gate on the left and can accommodate both cars and buses.
Food and drink are prohibited in the museum.
Touching, leaning, or sitting on the objects is prohibited.
Cell phones should be silenced prior to your tour.
Your group will stay with the tour guide for the entire tour.