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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: MHT File Photo, Undated Photo
West Nottingham Meeting House
Inventory No.: CE-228
Other Name(s): Little Brick Meeting House
Date Listed: 11/7/1976
Location: Harrisville Road (Old MD 268) , West Nottingham, Cecil County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1811
Description: West Nottingham Meeting House is a brick one-story building built in 1811. The existing structure was built after an earlier log meeting house was taken down and moved to Rising Sun to serve as a shop for a local craftsman. The brick meeting house is rectangularly shaped, and measures 45'-4" by 30'. The building has a gable roof shingled with slate, and a box cornice with crown and bed molding. At each end of the meeting house are two inside end chimneys. The foundation is constructed of fieldstone and the brickwork is laid in American bond. The 9/6 windows have paneled shutters and the doors have triangular pediments over them. All the exterior trim is plain and painted white. Only one door has a latch, the others are secured by wooden bars across them on the inside of the building. The shutters, doors, frames, windows (including sash and much of the glass), as well as the crown molding, are original. A graveyard extends to the east of the meeting house and is surrounded by a cast iron fence. It contains a few 18th century Quaker grave markers and a Roman Row. To the north of the meeting house stood a horse shed whose outline still can be seen. This also housed the men's privy. Significance: The first meeting house erected on this site was a log building in 1727. This was used until the present brick edifice was built in 1811. West Nottingham Friends Meeting together with East Nottingham Meeting at Brick Meeting House, Calvert, formed a single congregation, known since 1730 as Nottingham Monthly Meeting. The monthly business meetings were held alternately at this meeting house and at Brick Meeting House. In 1778 Nottingham Monthly Meeting was held here continuously due to the occupation of Brick Meeting House by a detachment of General Smallwood's troops. The original log building was used as a shop, and then a stable. Some pieces of this wood structure are in the possession of Brick Meeting House. In the cemetery there are several 18th century Quaker grave markers, a rare survival. It also contains a Roman Row, which served as a graveyard for Roman Catholics who found it a most convenient place for burial. Several cousins of Abraham Lincoln are buried in the cemetery. West Nottingham Meeting House is representative of the meeting houses built by the Society of Friends in the late 18th and first half of the 19th centuries in this part of the country. It exhibits the unusual two entrances, one for women and one for men, and sliding panels to divide the interior space in half, as well as the raised "Elder's Benches."

 

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