Hampton National Historic Site
Hampton offers an exceptional opportunity to learn about an important part of American history, aspirations, values, and the moral choices many have struggled with through the years. The park preserves a vast estate from the 1700s. Its centerpiece is an elegantly furnished Georgian mansion set amid formal gardens and shade trees. When it was finished in 1790, Hampton was the largest house in the United States. It is the story of a seven generation family business, early American industry and commerce, and changing cultural tastes. It is also the story of the economic and moral changes that made this kind of estate life obsolete. Most of all, Hampton is the story of people -- enslaved African Americans, indentured servants, hired industrial and agricultural workers, and the estate owners -- who made this lifestyle possible.
Self-guided tours may be made of the grounds during hours when the park is open to the public, including the farm, formal garden, family cemetery, and two stables built of stone for the Ridgely family's thoroughbred horses. A replica of the original orangery (built in 1824) may also be viewed (the original wooden orangery, which burned down in 1926, was reconstructed on the original foundations in 1976). One surviving 34-foot deep underground ice-house is visible near the mansion and is open to visitors. Among the surviving trees planted by the Ridgelys in the 1820s are a large tulip tree, a European Beech, and Catalpas. A prize Cedar of Lebanon, brought back from the Middle East as a seedling by Eliza Ridgely, is one of the largest in the U.S.
Seasonality / Weather
Please contact the park for current operating hours. * Please note that Hampton is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day.
Hampton is easy to get to because it's close to three interstate highways--routes 695, 70, and 95. From the Baltimore Beltway (I 695) eastbound or westbound: Take Exit 27B, Dulaney Valley Road northbound. Take the first right turn onto Hampton Lane. The park will be on your right, about one mile from the intersection.
Bus #11 stops at Goucher College, less than one mile from Hampton. The Light Rail stop at Lutherville is approximately three miles from Hampton.