Historic Structures

Building Description Poplar Hill - His Lordships Kindness, Rosaryville Maryland

His Lordship's Kindness is an excellent example of late 18th-century Georgian architecture, one of a few in Maryland built in a classic palladian five-part plan. Its five-part plan and other features such as its Palladian windows and fanlight entries suggest the later Georgian influence of Palladian and Adamesque design. It is among the grandest and most formal historic residences in the county, having been designated a national historic landmark based on its architectural integrity.

His Lordship's Kindness has a two-story, roughly square main block with hyphenated wings to either side. The main block measures approximately 56' x 48'. The wings, built on axis to the main block, are one-and-a-half stories in height and measure approximately 15' x 20'. They are connected to the main block by single-story hyphens measuring approximately 14-1/2' x 15'. The total length of the five-part composition measures 116 feet.

The house has a symmetrical Georgian plan with a center hall and two rooms to either side. Between the two rooms on either side is a hall, transverse from the center, longitudinal hall, which runs from the center hall, through the hyphens to the wings, forming a cruciform pattern. There is an entry to the center of the front and rear. The longitudinal hall is divided by an elliptical arch. The stairway is located along the southeast side and southwest rear walls. The front parlor and dining room are entered from doorways across from each other to the front of the hall, and from doorways to the rear of the rooms, off the transverse halls. The back rooms of the main block are entered from the transverse halls. At the end of each transverse hall are three steps down into the hyphens. The northwest hyphen has entries to either side. It leads into the former chapel, now library, in the wing. The southeast hyphen is wider, forming a hall with a modern kitchen to the rear. The hall leads into the former kitchen, now dining area/den, in the wing.

The second floor follows the same basic pattern as the first, with a center hall from front to rear (creating an upstairs parlor), lit by palladian windows at both ends. There are four bedrooms, over each of the four first floor rooms (with short transverse connecting halls). The wings have no second floor.

There are five historic outbuildings still on the property: a privy, smokehouse, wash house, slave hospital and pigeon cote. The privy is a square, common-bond brick building with a pyramidal roof. The entry, flanked by small, square, four-light casement windows, faces northwest. There are three clean-outs which form arches along the southeast rear, and a fourth around the corner at the southwest elevation. The interior is finished with plaster walls with wide wainscoting with a beaded edge and nosing. The ceiling and floors are covered with rough boarding. It is a five-hole privy. There are four holes along the rear wall with the last stepped down, and a fifth adjoining it another step down (for children).

Forming a row are the smokehouse, wash house and slave hospital. The smokehouse is a square brick structure with a steeply pitched, gable-front roof. In the gable end, over the northeast facing entry, the open brickwork forms two diamond patterns. The wash house is a square, wood frame structure with a pyramidal roof. It has an entry to the northeast and a window to the side. Adjacent is the building reputed to have been the slave hospital, now used as a guesthouse. It is a one-story, rectangular, common-bond brick building with a gable roof. At the northeast front is a central entry and six-over-six-light double-hung sash windows to either side, all with flat-arched lintels. Bricks turned on end form the cornice. There is a chimney at both gable ends. A frame addition (small bedroom and kitchen) has been added to the rear.

Lastly, is the pigeon cote. This is a small, frame, trapezoidal-shaped structure with a gable roof. Cut-outs in the gable ends allow for entry by the pigeons. There is a doorway at the northeast. In the interior, each end has slatted caging to contain the pigeons. The interior is otherwise unfinished, with the log roof rafters exposed.

Also on the property is a large, brick caretaker's residence built in the 1930s from the bricks of the carriage house and stables that once stood on this site. There is also a barn and shed and concrete gate posts at the southeast entry to the farm complex.