Orlando Ridout V
London Town Publik House
London Town Road, , Woodland Beach, , Anne Arundel County
London Town Publik House, a large Georgian brick inn, is a full two-story structure, seven bays wide and three bays deep, with walls laid in Flemish bond. The inn is covered by a hipped roof cut off near the top to form a deck and the deck is sheltered by a slightly elevated gable roof which is terminated at either end by a massive interior chimney. A finely enriched cornice marks the roof line on all four sides. There is a molded brick watertable and a belt course at the second floor level. The south (front) facade, facing the abandoned ferry approach road, is dominated by a three-bay-wide projecting central pavilion, which is surmounted by a pediment with a small lunette in its center. Windows in the south elevation are topped by flat brick arches and those in the rear and end elevations, by segmental brick arches. First floor windows have 9/9 light sash and second-story windows have 9/6 sash. The main entrance, in the south facade, is approached by a flight of brick and stone steps. The north or rear facade lacks the projecting pavilion on the front and is also fenestrated differently, having four widely spaced windows instead of six windows across on the south side. During its use as an alms house (1828-1966), the building was repaired and a few minor wood partition walls inserted, but no structural changes were made. The house has a cross hall plan with a broad central living hall, the width of the central pavilion, extending through the structure from front to rear. At midpoint the main hall is intersected at right angles by narrower side halls that lead to the entrance in each end. Four equal-sized room, each with its own fireplace, are located in the four corners of the inn. The north (rear) half of the main hall also has a fireplace and forms a very large room. The main entrance door, with 10 panels, has original HL hinges. The cross walls are brick, and the openings leading from the main hall to the lateral halls are framed with round brick arches. The end doors, also with HL hinges, have 6 panels each, and are surmounted by small transoms. The doors and most hardware are original. Interior walls are plastered and the fireplaces have simple wooden mantels. Two rooms have small original cupboards and the tavern also has its original flooring, revealed when a modern tile covering was removed.
London Town Publik House, erected around 1745-50 is an outstanding example of a large, seven-bay wide, brick inn of excellent Georgian design. With its original simple interiors unaltered and much of the original glass and hardware intact, the inn maintains its integrity at its functional best. The inn originally served a major north-south turnpike and the ferry crossing at South River. Between 1828 and 1966 the building was used as an alms house by Anne Arundel County.