The Brafferton, located on the south side of the Wren Yard and southeast of the Wren Building, was built by William & Mary in 1723. It was originally used as an Indian School and believed by some to be the first of its kind in America. Its intent was to educate and prepare Native American boys for the Anglican priesthood, an endeavor that met with little success. Today it houses the President’s and Provost’s Offices.
Funds for the construction came from the estate of English scientist Robert Boyle in the form of profits from the Brafferton Estate in Yorkshire, England. After the Revolutionary War, English funding ceased to come in and the Indian School was closed. In 1865, the Brafferton served as the office and quarters of the commanding officer of the Union garrison in Williamsburg. And in the spring of that year, it was also used as part of the Union defensive works after a raid of troops under John Singleton Mosby.
Throughout the years, the Brafferton has also served as a residence for professors, a dormitory for students, an armory for the Wise Light Infantry, the Alumni Association office, and even the Music Department. Hot and cold running water was installed in 1912, and, in 1918, it became the headquarters for the Students' Army Training Corps. Its functions continued to change throughout the 1920s: Business Administration office (1920), Dean's, Registrars, and College Physician's offices (1921), Flat Hat office (1922), President's and Treasurer's offices (1922). It was restored 1931-1932 and has been the home of the President's Provost's offices since 1985.