Newtowne Manor, 2016.

Six-to-Fix Update: Flurry of Essential Repairs made at Newtowne Manor

12/23/2017
By Jessica Feldt

As part of our Six-to-Fix program, Preservation Maryland helped arrange a structural assessment of the historic Newtowne Manor House in Southern Maryland. Following recommendations made by Keast & Hood, members of the Friends of Newtown Manor House completed much of the needed security and stabilization work outlined by the engineering firm.

In early 2017, Preservation Maryland arranged for Keast & Hood, an international engineering firm, to complete a site visit and assessment at Newtowne Manor. After years of vacancy, the building was suffering from water damage including penetration into the historic foundation. The final report included recommendations to make the building safe for site access, public events, and future preservation efforts.

Volunteers with the Friends of Newtowne Manor House completed much of the needed work throughout the year, including reconstruction of a kitchen fireplace in the basement, repointing historic masonry, and venting windows and doors. Keast & Hood reviewed the report of the Friends group and determined that their work had stabilized the structure in order to provide safe access to the public and facilitate on-going restoration efforts.

The leadership of the St. Francis Xavier Parish and the Archdiocese of Washington are now working together to determine the next steps for the preservation and new use of the historic Newtowne Manor House.

HISTORY OF THE MANOR HOUSE

The area around St. Francis Xavier Church and Newtowne Manor House in Southern Maryland was settled in the 17th century by English Jesuit priests who conducted missionary activities among Maryland first people and English Settlers. St. Clements Island, the site of the first landing of English settlers in Maryland, is within sight of the property. The settlers had crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the Ark and the Dove and landed at St. Clements Island in March 1634.

The Jesuits created a self-sustaining community that included a church and housing as well as the utilitarian buildings and facilities needed to support a 700 acre income-producing farm. It is believed that the St. Francis Xavier Church, built in 1767,  is the oldest Roman Catholic church building in the English colonies. St. Francis Xavier Church and Newtowne Manor House were researched and placed on the Maryland Register of Historic Places in 1972.

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Jessica Feldt · Preservation Initiatives Manager

Jessica Feldt manages our proactive preservation and grant-giving programs and is here to help you move your project on the path towards preservation.

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