Photo credit: Kate Simkins , 11/1982

Property Name: Plinlimmon Farm
Date Listed: 5/19/1983
Inventory No.: BA-2184
Location: 9401, Lyons Mill Road, Owings Mills, Baltimore County

Description: Plinlimmon is an early 19th century farmhouse of log construction clad in novelty siding. The house is six irregularly spaced bays wide by one room deep, 2 ½ stories high with a gable roof. The irregularity of the building’s fenestration, and the series of alterations apparent on the exterior, reflect the building’s vernacular character and its continuous adaptation to the changing tastes of its residents. The west façade was originally the back of the house, but became the principal façade as a result of alterations around the turn of the 20th century, when the present formal Colonial Revival entrance and broad porch were added. The original east entrance was replaced with a sun room ca. 1920-30. Three gabled dormers with scalloped bargeboards are ranged across each slope of the roof; these were added in the latter half of the 19th century. The house has three chimneys: a stone exterior stack at either end, and a brick interior chimney next to the southernmost bay. The interior retains nearly all its original decorative detailing intact, including paneled doors and staircase, architrave and chair rail moldings, and fireplace surrounds. The trim is restrained in character, in keeping with the vernacular nature of the house. On the first floor, a formal parlor opens off the north side of the entrance hall, and the dining room lies south of the hall; the kitchen is located beyond the dining room, to the south. The plan of the second floor was revised in the course of a 1941 renovation. Several outbuildings cluster around the house. On the southeast is a ca. 1850 stone building with a gable roof, an interior chimney, and a 1941 frame wing. Adjacent to this building are a frame two-bay garage (ca. 1920s-30s) and a small rectangular smokehouse with a gable roof (ca. 1850). To the southwest of the house are a large mid-19th century cornhouse with a gable roof with an early 20th century two-story frame feed wing, and an early 20th century frame barn with a gable roof. Two rectangular 20th century frame chicken coops (pre-1941) complete the outbuilding complex.

Significance: Plinlimmon draws significance from its architecture, as an example of the type of residence constructed in the early 19th century and maintained to the present by prosperous middle-class farmers in rural north-central Maryland. The exterior of the house retains its essential vernacular character; its form, massing, and irregular fenestration are unchanged from that depicted in a drawing dated 1839 in the possession of the owners. These characteristics are readily apparent despite a series of exterior alterations, which reflect the changing tastes of successive owners of the property during 150 years of continual use a s the seat of a working farm. The interior of the house retains most of its original decorative detailing intact, including paneling, door and window trim, and fireplace surrounds. Plinlimmon farm derives additional significance from its continual operation as a farm despite increasing trends to suburbanization of its surroundings; a full complement of outbuildings, some dating to the mid-19th century, remain on the property to support its historic function.




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