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Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum

295 West Ave, Mathews Park, Norwalk, CT 06850-4002
+1 203-838-9799
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Review Highlights
Halloween-themed tour

We took the "Witches, Vampires, and Ghost Tours at the Mansion," an event that happens in October... read more

Reviewed today
CharismaJ2
,
Melbourne, Florida
Magnificent Civil War era mansion

Having seen many mansions all over the US and Europe, I can recommend a trip to this mansion... read more

Reviewed 7 August 2017
subeem
,
nyc
Read all 70 reviews
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The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is regarded as one of the earliest and finest surviving Second Empire Style country houses ever built in the United States. The 62-room mansion was built by banker-railroad tycoon LeGrand Lockwood, who in 1864 began construction of his estate on the Norwalk River in Norwalk, Connecticut. Designed by European-trained, New York-based architect Detlef Lienau, the mansion, which was completed in 1868 at a cost of over $2,000,000.00 in 1868 currency, is considered his most significant surviving work. American craftsmen, along with many immigrant artisans, were employed in the construction of the house. Following Mr. Lockwood's financial reversal in 1869 and his untimely death in 1872, his wife, Ann Louisa Benedict Lockwood, lost the house in foreclosure to the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad in 1874. At the time, Mrs. Lockwood owed one remaining mortgage payment of $90,000 - Mr. Lockwood had paid off $310,000 of his mortgage which he took out following the tragic financial disaster of Black Friday in 1869. After remaining unoccupied for two years, the mansion was purchased in 1876 by Charles Drelincourt Mathews, a wealthy provisions merchant who retired at an early age. The purchase price from the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad astonished many. The house, not even a decade old, along with its numerous outbuildings within the 30-acre compound, was sold for a fraction of its value: $90,000.00 - the last payment owed by Mrs. Lockwood. However, much work had to be done in order to occupy the now unfurnished mansion and the grounds, never completed, were commissioned to Fredrick Law Olmstead. Charles and Rebecca had 4 children: Lillie, Florence, Charles Thompson, and Harold. Lillie and Harold both married, had children, and summered at the Mansion; Florence and Charles never married and lived at their townhouse at 812 Fifth Avenue in NYC in the winter or when not traveling throughout Europe. Charles Thompson Mathews, a world-renowned scholar in the field of architecture, won an international competition for the design and construction of the Lady Chapel at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC in 1899. His two books on the subject were used as textbooks at Ivy League schools such as Columbia, Harvard, and Yale. Following his death in 1934, Miss Florence Mathews made Norwalk her full-time residence and passed away in her father's mansion in 1938. The house was first leased and subsequently sold to the City of Norwalk for "park purposes." Years of neglect along with use by City Offices and storage of heavy machinery severely deteriorated the once beautiful home. When the City announced their plans for demolition in the early 1960s in order to build a new City Hall near the mansion, 16 taxpayers, later incorporated into "The Common Interest Group", sued the City of Norwalk and following a lengthy court battle, the Mansion was saved in 1965. In 1971, the Mansion was officially declared a National Historic Landmark. Today, the Museum is being lovingly restored back to its original grandeur by a non-profit organization and is a cultural gem which highlights the lives, styles and technology of the Victorian Era. Tours are offered early April through early January, Wednesday-Sunday. Tours are conducted on the hour at 12, 1, 2, and 3 p.m. Admission: $10 Adults, $8 Seniors, $6 Students 8-18, and Free for Children under the age of 8.
  • Excellent55%
  • Very good37%
  • Average4%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible2%
Travellers talk about
“dark shadows” (5 reviews)
“second floor” (8 reviews)
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
295 West Ave, Mathews Park, Norwalk, CT 06850-4002
CONTACT
Website
+1 203-838-9799
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Reviews (70)
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1 - 10 of 70 reviews

Reviewed today

We took the "Witches, Vampires, and Ghost Tours at the Mansion," an event that happens in October. Held at night and you're given small battery-operated candles, walking through the dimly-lit mansion and hearing the ghostly tales, it is FANTASTIC!!! They take small groups at a...More

Thank CharismaJ2
Reviewed 7 August 2017

Having seen many mansions all over the US and Europe, I can recommend a trip to this mansion without hesitation. It is most elegant and classy, with original floors, ceilings, and furnishings. The mansion was designed and built without outward signs of excessive and overdone...More

2  Thank subeem
Reviewed 9 June 2017

The 'Mansion' is definitely a must see when visiting Norwalk. It is famous for its Dark Shadows appearance in the TV series but there is nothing dark about this magnificent mansion. It is a museum in progress and always great to see again and again...More

Thank jmikes33026
Reviewed 25 May 2017

They offer a 45min and a 90min tour. We went for the 90min because we didn't want to kill another hour and a half wandering around. The volunteers are very knowledgeable about their stuff. Depending on the tone of the tour group and tour guide,...More

Thank Amber P
Reviewed 7 May 2017 via mobile

This beautiful and very modest summer home was featured in both versions of Stepford Wives and the Dark Shadows movie. It's not any different than other historical house tours, but my complaints are that pictures (even without flash) are not allowed and the tour options...More

Thank brittany z z
Reviewed 4 May 2017

What history! The Lockwood Mathews Mansion is an incredible home. It is not to be missed. The house tour was fabulous and must be taken to hear all about the history, owners, and architects. Lockwood had the house built and lived there just a short...More

Thank RISA L
Reviewed 15 February 2017

I went to a fund-raiser here, and it really elevated the celebration, making it elegant and timeless. There is really no other place like it in lower Fairfield County.

Thank Nimby
Reviewed 3 February 2017

Sort of like a mini Newport Mansion experience. Lots of great history. My favorite thing I learned was that the original Stepford Wives was filmed there. Not good for small children, but 10 year olds and up will enjoy the mansion and the interesting history....More

Thank anniebon29
Reviewed 10 November 2016

The lockwood Mansion is a fabulous property that was constructed in the 1880. The craftsmanship is outstanding and as it only had two owners before the city of Norwalk bought the property it is still in its original state. The rooms have been beautifully restored...More

Thank NathalieWestport
Reviewed 3 November 2016

Seriously. This is a CASTLE ! ... with a unique and intriguing history... SO thankful i went there today. Before going in for the 2 PM tour, i had 45 minutes to slowly go around the outside of the entire Lockwood-Mathews Castle, and have some...More

Thank Anna C
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