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Historical gem

This was an amazing find. Huge, free and filled with history. It is a massive house. The staff is... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
ceslaton77
,
eden prairie
via mobile
Interesting History

Visitor center looks new:) Staff very helpful:) The whole visit was made by taking the tour of the... read more

Reviewed 21 September 2018
Jayjay099
,
Cartersville, Georgia
via mobile
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Reviewed 8 September 2017

This was the largest private home in America when it was completed. It's beautifully restored and furnished, with many original pieces. And none of it would have been possible without slavery. Think about that as you explore the property and take in how vast it once was.

Take the guided tour. I loved the anecdote about how one of the last Ridgelys talked his neighbor Mr. Ladew into buying some of of the Ridgely family silver as a way to raise money in order to keep the estate. That Ridgely family silver is in the possession of Ladew Topiary Gardens to this day.

Go across the road to the farmhouse and slave quarters. Walk the grounds, gardens, and family cemetery.

Christmas is a very special time to visit. Again, keep in mind what made the whole enterprise possible.

They have a new visitor center also.

Date of experience: October 2016
Thank Brian D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2017

My wife and I have been meaning to visit Hampton National Historic Site for a long time and finally made our way there. Here is an excellent example of our tax dollars at work. Since Hampton Mansion is a National Historic Site, there is no admission charge. There is a Visitor's Center located near the entrance to the site and a Park Ranger on duty, who can provide information on guided tours. A guided tour is necessary if you would like to see the interior of the Hampton Mansion (which, I'm sure you will). Make sure to check the website for the times when tours are offered. The guides can only take 15 people per tour so you'll want to arrive early (first come, first served). The Hampton Mansion is particularly interesting because the Ridgely family occupied it from 1790 to 1948. When it was built, it was one of the largest Georgian style mansions in the United States and the furnishings reflect the wealth of the Ridgelys. You can tour the grounds, gardens, and outbuildings on your own. Among these outbuildings are three workers' quarters, including those used by slaves, which helps provide a better sense of the economic realities behind the wealth of the Ridgelys. We checked out the ice house, which is kind of spooky. Stone steps lead 33 feet down into a vault-like area that was filled in winter with snow and ice to be used for food preparation and refrigeration. There is a small but beautiful area with patterned gardens or parterres, one of which survives in its original design. Although the property is a lot smaller than the 25,000 acres that it boasted between the years 1790 and 1829, the current grounds (60 acres) offer much to see. There is even a Ridgely family cemetery on the property. While you're walking about, don't miss the catalpa trees, which are at least as old as the Hampton Mansion. We enjoyed our tour of the Mansion and look forward to returning to Hampton National Historic Site to explore the other buildings in the very near future.

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank Burkbob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2017 via mobile

Looking for something to do near, but not in, Annapolis, I did a quick Internet search. I found the Victorian Preservation Association, vpa.org, where a number of area historic homes were listed including Hampton. We decided to visit and are glad we did. It is a spectacular mansion, with amazing history, architecture and furnishings. Our Park Ranger gave a very good tour and was really familiar with the history of the family. The grounds are really interesting, with ancient trees dotting the landscape. We spent a couple of hours, but could have spent more. If visiting again, I would bring a picnic lunch.
The Hampton estate is also along the Horses and Hounds Scenic Byway (visitmaryland.org), which we are planning for a future outing.

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank 643thomask
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2017

Many generations of the Ridgely family lived here and resisted the urge to remodel, so the house stands as an outstanding example of grand 18th century DIY architecture, showing how the one tenth of one percent lived. Excellent house tour lets you see both of the main floors in their entirety, and the parterre gardens out back have been restored so you can get a good sense of the grounds as well. But your view on plantation life is not limited to the owners: the home farm across the street lets you tour the overseer's house, slave quarters, dairy, and other farm buildings, so that you get a full view of the slave economy that supported the lavish lifestyle of the owners. Hampton also provides an interesting insight into the early Baltimore economy, since the plantation's wealth came from producing iron rather than tobacc.o

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank Wanderlust777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2017

I have visited this lovely home several times, in the Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. In the Winter, the house is decorated beautifully and we have had the opportunity to be driven in the horse drawn carriage, the kids loved it. We have picked leaves in the fall for school projects and we have taken walks on the beautiful grounds in the summer and spring. The history of the house comes alive when you walk the grounds and use your imagination.

Date of experience: April 2017
Thank 436judithk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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