MHT File Photo
Chesapeake Beach Road (MD 260), Owings, Calvert County
Maidstone is picturesque and Medieval with its steeply sloping roof, which extends out over the north and south facades of the house to form a porch in traditional Maryland Colonial style. Facing south, the main house is four bays wide and two deep. The door occupies the second bay from the west. All of the windows are 6/6. There are three 6/6 gable-roofed dormers on both the north and south roofs. A Medieval T-shaped chimney is enclosed within the west end of the house containing a brick dated 1678. This chimney is so heavy that it has slowly been pulling the house to one side as it tilts with age. The house is noticeably leaning to one side. Maidstone was originally three bays wide; the fourth bay on the west end and the 1 1/2-story kitchen on the west were added around 1800. The kitchen has its own chimney on the west end. There are two outbuildings with old beams and rough-hewn horizontal siding. The steeply pitched roofs of the outbuildings have a similar degree of pitch as the main building (58 degrees). The grounds are well maintained, and there are stands of very old boxwood plants.
Maidstone, one of the few extant architectural examples of the 17th century Medieval influence in Maryland, was owned by three successive generations of the Chew family over a span of more than 60 years, after which the Chew family became of interstate importance through Benjamin Chew (1722-1810), the son of Samuel Chew of Maidstone (1693-1743). Samuel Chew, in order to distinguish himself from relatives of the same name, signed "of Maidstone" after his name. His house was probably built after 1683 and before 1699 when his father died. Samuel Chew's inheritance of the property did not keep him in Maryland, however, and he removed to Delaware in the early 18th century. Chew settled in Dover, and by 1741 had become Chief Justice of Sussex, Kent, and New Castle Counties, Delaware. Benjamin Chew, one of nine children of Samuel Chew of Maidstone, was born and raised at Maidstone and was its owner after his father's death in 1743. However, he also did not choose to live in Maryland. Moving to Philadelphia, he held the offices of Attorney General of Pennsylvania (1754-1769), member of the Pennsylvania Provincial Council (1754-1769), Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (1774-1776), and Judge and President of the High Court of Errors and Appeals (1791-1806). Before moving to Philadelphia in 1754, Chew had abandoned connections with Maryland by selling Maidstone in 1745 to an Anne Arundel County farmer, Lewis Lewin.