Catherine A. Masek
Chestertown Fairlee Road (MD 20), Chestertown, Kent County
Brampton is a c. 1860 transitional Greek Revival/Italianate-influenced dwelling. The main section of the house, facing north, is constructed of brick, three stories high, with a symmetrical five-bay-wide facade and a depth of two bays. A two story frame wing, three bays wide by one bay deep, forms an ell at the rear. The entrance is located in the central bay of the principal facade, and consists of double paneled doors with a 7-light transom and 4-light sidelights in a crossetted surround. A three-bay-wide porch with chamfered posts and a bracketed cornice shelters the entrance and its flanking bays. This porch is the remnant of a former wraparound porch which once sheltered three sides of the house. Most of this was removed in the 1930s. All first-floor windows are floor-to-ceiling 6/9 sash; second-story windows are 6/6 with bold bracketed cornices; the third story is lighted by smaller 6/6 windows in plain surrounds. The shallow-pitched, metal-clad gable roof is detailed with a bracketed cornice and a shallow cross gable above the central bay. Interior chimneys rise from either gable end. The building's interior is organized in a center-hall plan, and retains all its original trim and finishes in pristine condition, including walnut doors, moldings, slate fireplace surrounds, plaster ceiling medallions, and three-story spiral stair.
Brampton is significant for its architecture, as a virtually unaltered example of the transitional Greek Revival Italianate style as expressed in a formal dwelling on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. This type of structure is uncommon in the rural agricultural contexts of the Eastern Shore. Important features include the formal symmetry and refined proportions of the large, vertical brick structure; fine masonry construction; ornate bracketed cornice and window hoods; and elegant interior.