A short stroll from Church Circle, along the tree-lined streets of Murray Hill in the Historic District of Annapolis, stands Acton Hall. This Colonial-era mansion of distinction and architectural significance has been meticulously renovated and is the only 18th-century residence in Annapolis on its original waterfront. Acton Hall, with its stately and iconic prominence, enjoys a distinguished lineage dating back to the founding of Maryland.
In 1651, Cecil Calvert (“Lord Baltimore”) granted approximately 100 acres to Richard Acton, a carpenter from the Isle of Wight. Originally used as farmland, “Acton” also served as the first Port of Entry for “Anne Arundel’s Towne” (now Annapolis) from 1688-91. Acton eventually sold the land to John Hammond in 1708 who maintained a plantation until his death in 1730, when the property transferred to his five sons. Colonel Philip Hammond, military officer and local political leader, acquired the property from his brothers and began construction in 1760 of Acton Hall. In 1844, Hammond’s heirs sold the property to Captain James Murray, USN, who served as first Paymaster for the U.S. Navy and played a leading role in the establishment of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1845. Murray and his family lived in Acton Hall through most of the second half of the 19th century. In 1890, the property was subdivided into “city-size” lots creating “Murray Hill”, Annapolis’ most desirable in-town neighborhood. From the late 1920s through the 1960s, the house suffered ever-declining maintenance. Historic Annapolis, Inc., the local preservation organization, stepped in to find a buyer for Acton Hall in 1974 and again in 1977, when a four-year restoration was begun. During that time, the interior and exterior of Acton Hall was completely restored and renovated. Plaster walls were repaired, original wood flooring was numbered, removed and refinished elsewhere and interior wood was stripped, refinished and painted. Electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems were upgraded. Extensive landscaping was added to complement the existing 150-year old English boxwoods; an authentic brick perimeter wall was built surrounding the gardens; and, the waterfront bulkhead was replaced and a new pier constructed.
A circular drive sweeps across the front of this Georgian manor house laid in Flemish bond using local brick. Original wide plank heart-pine flooring extends throughout the main level while classical crown molding accents the 10’6” high ceilings. Original 12 over 12 sash windows, all with interior shutters, are a major feature of the house. A covered front porch, with paired Tuscan columns, welcomes guests into the center hall Foyer. Directly ahead through the Foyer, the expansive Living Room creates a breathtaking setting with a classic fireplace and a full-width semi-octagonal bay accented by one of three rare “Jib” doors opening to the veranda. Flanking the Living Room, the Home Office and Library offer built-in bookcases, wood burning fireplaces as well as “Jib” doors also opening to the veranda, with sweeping views down the back lawn to the water’s edge. Portals from the Foyer lead to the Family Room and Dining Room, each fitted with wood burning fireplaces. The Dining Room leads to the Pantry and Kitchen wing with access to the Laundry Room and attached two-car Garage. The custom gourmet Kitchen features solid cherry cabinetry, granite counters and professional-grade stainless appliances. Highlighted by an original exterior brick wall, the attached Breakfast Room boasts a full-width window wall connected to the brick-floored Greenhouse with its retractable sunscreen.
The Second Level features a stunning Master Bedroom Suite with a fireplace, and a full-width semi-octagonal bay with views over the garden and lawn to Acton Cove. The Dressing Room, with custom built-in cabinetry, adjoins the Master Bedroom. The attached Master Bath has a marble floor, twin vanities with sinks, jetted soaking tub and separate shower stall. Two additional spacious Bedrooms share this level, each with their own wood burning fireplace and private marble Bath. The Lower Level features a Wine Cellar with stucco walls, bead-board ceiling and rack storage for 500 bottles. A large Storage Room with stucco walls, concrete floor and recessed lighting is also on the Lower Level.
The Carriage House, with its own entrance, is connected by the “hyphen” to the Main House. It provides ideal Guest or Staff quarters in an 850 square foot apartment, with Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, Bedroom and Bath.
The waterside of this historic home features a spectacular covered veranda that spans the back of the house with an unmatched view over the Pool and Pool House down the manicured lawns to the protected waters of Acton Cove on Spa Creek. A waterfront Boat House is convenient to the 60-foot pier with two deep-water boat slips to accommodate sail or power yachts (7-8 ft. MLW), along with 30/50-amp electric service and water connections. Extensive gardens include old-growth specimen trees, raised garden beds, espaliered apple trees, a fig tree and a grape arbor with 40-year-old vines. A two-car Garage, two additional off-street parking spaces, along with a circular drive, provides parking places for seven cars.
Offered for the first time in a generation, Acton Hall, and its exceptional historic prominence and architectural detail, provides an unparalleled waterfront location with convenient walking distance to all that Annapolis has to offer. It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a piece of American history.
Total Sq. Footage
Cedar / Shake
Above Grade, Cabana/pool Hse, Boat House
Central Air Conditioning
Partial, Improved, Crawl Space