The Hampton Mansion National Historic Site, Maryland

This weekend we took our daughter to the Holiday open house at the Hampton Mansion in Towson to explore the grounds in this unusually warm December weather. We live only two minutes from this historic mansion but have never visited it before. I was amazed at the old-growth trees on the property and spent the majority of time photographing the grounds. The front lawn was covered in yellow ginkgo leaves. There is an old Willow out back with limbs that swoop down and touch the ground. Shenan even spotted a mysterious but beautiful black cat roaming around. The mansion and preserved surrounding property are just a remnant of what is left of the Hampton estate of the early 1800s. You can learn more about Hampton and its history here on the NPS website.  I enjoyed photographing the grounds and hope to return in other seasons to photograph again. It would be great to get some shots of the old growth trees after a snowfall. The Mansion is just off of 695 in Towson, however it feels like stepping into another era when walking the grounds. It is really a great escape from the day to day and a reminder of the way things used to be before urban sprawl. There are now neighborhoods full of modern homes backing to the Hampton property. There are however a good number of other barns and buildings on the grounds that have also been preserved for touring. If you cross Hampton Lane, there is an old creamery building and a few other stone structures, one filled with old carriages and equestrian items that are on display. Other than the stained glass window above the main entrance I did not photograph inside the mansion because it was pretty crowded with tourists but I did take a walk through and was able to see the rooms decorated for the holidays. The cupola on the roof is just stunning. My favorite part though was the gardens on the south side. I am hoping to return in the spring to see if they do any plantings or if there are any bulbs that will be in bloom.