Thursday, April 16, 2015

Montpelier Mansion--Exterior

Montpelier Mansion was built in the 1780s by Major Thomas Snowden, a wealthy landowner in Prince George's County. The estate originally covered 9000 acres including tobacco fields and barns, slave quarters, and workshops for various craftsmen. Snowden partially owned the iron works on the Patuxent River. The family owned the estate until 1890. It went through various hands and various reductions until it was given to the Maryland-National Capital Park &; Planning Commission in 1961.

The house is an example of the "five-part Georgian" style with a central building connected by two "hyphens" to two wings.

Montpelier Mansion

Just off of the house is the colonial revival herb garden. It's guarded by a picket fence and follows the plan of early 1800s gardens, including the oyster shell chaff pathways.

Colonial revival herb garden

Across the lawn is the "Belvedere" or summer house where the ladies would take their tea or the children would shelter from rain during the summer.

Summer house

The Carriage House was originally the stables for the estate, later the garage. Now it has an exhibit on dinosaurs in Maryland, including information about Dinosaur Park which we had previous visited.

Carriage house

Fun dinosaur exhibit

The more educational side of the exhibit

Rebuilding a t-rex

The Art Center includes several galleries and artists' studios. We didn't go in on this visit but maybe in the future.

Art Center

The next post goes inside the mansion!

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