Photo credit: C. Engstrom , 08/1977

Property Name: Rose Hill
Date Listed: 11/19/1976
Inventory No.: K-119
Location: Augustine Herman Highway (MD 213), Hopewell, Kent County

Description: Rose Hill is a 40' square, 2-story brick structure built during the latter half of the 18th century. The principal entrance is located in the center of the five-bay wide front (south) gable end, and possesses an architrave with carved brackets supporting a pediment. A six-panel door is set within paneled jambs, and the lower panels of the jambs and door are flush with the stiles and rails. Below the chamfered water table the brick is laid in English bond. Two cellar windows have three-center arches and the original frames which had two horizontal bars. Above the water table Flemish bond was used, though with little regard to the usual finish around windows. (In some places closers are adjacent to the window frames.) Between the first and second story windows are two three-brick belt courses on the south and east sides. Due to the proximity of the lower belt course, there are no decorative arches above the first story windows of the south and east facades. Sash remaining indicate the use of 16/12 pane sash on the first story and 12/12 sash on the second story. Above the second story windows is a restored pent eave with plaster cove cornice. Above the pent eave, the brickwork is common bond and there is single six-pane casement window lighting the attic. All header bond was used on the east facade above the water table. The east facade is divided into four bays with a door being on the northernmost bay. This entrance consists of a new six-panel door and frame, and retains the original eight-pane transom. Like the south facade, the cellar windows are located on the two inner bays. The center bay of the north facade contains a door with a six-pane window beside and a three-center arch above. The attic window has been enlarged from a six-pane casement to a 6/6 double hung window. Neither the north nor the west sides have a water table or belt course. On the west side, the northernmost bay on both stories has been blocked in for many years. Segmental arches are used above the west windows, but both segmental and three-centered arches are located above the two cellar windows, one of which has been blocked. This wall has a very severe bulge, from the ground to the cornice. Large square chimneys rise from the center of the east and west sides of the gable roof.

Significance: Rose Hill is unusual among the 18th century brick houses of Kent County. Its size is large for the period of its construction, the third quarter of the 18th century, indicating a builder of means. The use of a gable end as an entrance facade is unique in the county in this period. The form was also used in Wye House, Talbot County (1784), seat of the Lloyd family, prestigious in 18th and 19th century Maryland. Other unusual features of the building are its brickwork and the development of its floor plan. The walls are laid up in three different bonds Flemish on the south, all-header on the east, and English on the north and west. Rather than the usual end chimneys of this area and time period, the chimney stacks are in the center of the house on either side of the rear stair hall. The floor plan began in the third quarter of the 18th century with one large room across the front and two smaller ones separated by a stair hall in the rear. A room of such proportions as the front one at Rose Hill was usually found only in taverns at this time. In the fourth quarter of the 18th century this room was apparently divided into two smaller rooms, giving the house a "four-square" plan seldom found in rural dwellings in Kent. Most of the woodwork remaining in Rose Hill dates from the 18th century. Despite the uniqueness of the building itself, the woodwork dating from the second (c. 1790s) phase of interior work is a representative example of the craftsmanship of that period.




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