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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Michael O. Bourne, 07/1971
Inventory No.: QA-9
Date Listed: 4/11/1973
Location: Lands End Road , Centreville, Queen Annes County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1730; 1791
Description: Readbourne is a five-part brick house, the center block having been built in the early 1730s by James Hollyday I; the south wing in 1791 by James Hollyday, III; and the north wing in 1948 by William Fahnstock, who undertook the restoration and remodeling of the building between 1940 and 1948. The central part of the house is the most significant, being a T-plan, two-story brick building with hip-roof, measuring 60’ x 23 1/2’, with the base of the T 17 1/2’ x 23 1/2’. Its plan is similar to Cloverfields (c. 1730), near Wye Mills. All the brick walls are laid in Flemish bond; that of the west facade being of more uniform brick. The central entrance of the facade has a semicircular transom above double doors, reputedly the first of its type in the colonies. The semi-circular headed window on the second floor has a gauged brick keystone, as does the door. The west windows have gauged-brick jack arches; elsewhere the windows have segmental arches of common brick. The belt course of the west facade is broken above the door due to the height of the arched transom. The ends of both the main belt course and the short section above the door are finished with an ogee curve. The east facade has a window flanking the base of the T on both stories. There are two tall narrow, windows on the first story of the base of the T. An entrance door on the south side of the T opens onto the "stone step room." Both the north and south ends of the original house are hidden by the hyphens. Significance: Readbourne is significant for its association with the Hollyday family, who built the brick house and owned the land between 1730 and 1904. Equally important, the house is one of the earliest major Georgian structures to remain in the state of Maryland. In scale and detail, it resembles the early Georgian buildings of Virginia and like the great Virginia mansions, Readbourne overlooks a series of terraced "falls" which carry the symmetry of the house out into the garden.
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