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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Jennifer K. Cosham, 03/07/2004
The Ridge
Inventory No.: M: 22-15
Other Name(s): Muncaster House
Date Listed: 4/5/1988
Location: 19000 Muncaster Road , Derwood, Montgomery County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1755
Description: The Ridge is a 1 1/2-story Flemish bond brick house on a fieldstone foundation. Its gambrel roof replaced the original gable roof in 1925. To the north stands a 1 1/2-story gable-roofed stone structure, which may predate the house, and which is connected to the main house by a hyphen. The hyphen appears to date from the mid 20th century, but to be constructed of older materials. (These materials may be the in situ framing of an earlier hyphen structure.) Facing east, the brick section is three bays wide with an off-center door. The door itself has been replaced with one of four glass panes, but retains a mid-19th century transom and sidelights. The flanking windows are 12/12 sash with brick jack arches. An exterior chimney stands at the south gable end, while the chimney on the north end is flush with the wall. Three gable-roofed dormers pierce each side of the early-20th century gambrel roof. The west facade of the main block is covered by a c. 1900 screened porch. Initially this wall contained a rear entrance similar to the front and on the same centerline, flanked by a 9/9 window on the right and a 12/12 on the left. The south end wall contains the massive chimney, with a 9/9 sash window to the right on the first story and one 6/6 window on either side on the second story. The outline of the original gable roof, which cut close to the top outside corners of these windows, is visible in the brickwork of the gambrel end. The north end wall contains two 6/6 sash windows on the second floor, and two small vents flanking the chimney in the attic at the peak of the gable. The stone portion of the building contains a single flush chimney at the north end, brick above the roofline. The east facade is pierced by a single window opening, now filled with a polygonal bay window. This side of the modern roof is pierced by two gable-roofed dormers. The west facade holds an entrance in the north bay and a small window in the south. The window is filled with a diamond-pane casement window. The door is deeply recessed, and flanked with wide 12-pane sidelights. A single dormer pierces the west side of the roof. A single stove chimney rises from the shallow west roof slope of the hyphen. On the interior, the main house has four rooms and a stair on the first floor. The decorative detailing in the main house reflects Georgian, Federal, and Greek Revival influences illustrating growth and alterations. The trim in the upper level rooms under the gambrel is plain and dates from the alteration. Of particular note on the interior are the winding staircase with bold bolection; six-panel doors with raised, fielded panels; a closet in the present living room highly decorated with punch and gouge work; and early hardware on some doors. Also on the property is an 18th century two-story log building. Significance: The Ridge is a mid-18th century brick house with later changes which is significant for architectural reasons. Although greatly altered visually in 1925 with a roof change from gable to a gambrel, The Ridge retains major features of its early period. Of particular significance is the finely laid exterior brick walls and intact floor plan, decorative detailing, and winding staircase with bold bolection molding. Also of note is a Federal period punch-and-gouge-work decorated arched closet. The same decoration was used on the principal mantel, which has been removed. Erected for and occupied by a family prominent in local and state affairs, Zadock Magruder and his descendants, until 1956, The Ridge exhibits a sophistication of construction and design that is more commonly associated with the eastern sections of the state and thus is an important cultural artifact of this Piedmont area which was very remote well in to the 19th century. The Ridge is only one of four houses of this type and period extant in Montgomery County.


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