Hampton National Historic Site, a National Park Service property established in 1948, was the first national park designated for its architectural merit. Located in Baltimore County, Maryland, the site was once part of a vast agricultural, industrial, and commercial empire that reached 25,000 acres at its zenith. Today, the site preserves 63 acres that were once occupied by seven generations of the Ridgely family and their large and diverse labor force.
One of the country’s best preserved estates, Hampton NHS today contains the core of the estate largely intact. The centerpiece of the site is Hampton Mansion, built 1783-1790 primarily to serve as a summer home. This premier example of Georgian architecture may have been the largest private residence in the United States when completed. The site also features numerous historic outbuildings including stables, greenhouses, and an ice house; a farm site with an overseer’s house (c. 1745), barns, an elaborate dairy, and standing slave quarters; and formal terraced gardens and other landscape features including several state champion trees.
Hampton NHS’s vast and diverse museum collection of 45,000 objects ranges from archeological artifacts to archives and photographs, great works of art to items of everyday life, reflecting major phases of American social, cultural, and economic history from the mid-18th to the mid-20th centuries. Over 90% of the objects on view at Hampton are original to the estate, and each room of the mansion is furnished to a different era. Tours of the mansion tell the engaging story of entrepreneurs, indentured servants, slaves, and the changing face of America.
Hampton NHS’s numerous assets and the extensive related documentation make it a resource of major significance to its local community, the state of Maryland, and the nation.
Hampton National Historic Site Virtual Museum Exhibit