Welcome To Whitehall
What is Whitehall?
Built in 1764 before the start of the American Revolution, Whitehall was home to Horatio Sharpe, the last Provincial Governor of Maryland. Governor Sharpe originally intended to use the home for entertaining. Ultimately, Sharpe didn’t spend much time there; with the Revolutionary War looming, he left Maryland for England, where he died in 1790. The house stands as the finest example of Palladian architecture in the country and was the first National Historic Landmark to be designated in the state of Maryland.
Whitehall is an outstanding example of a Georgian country house with the special distinction of being one of only two pre-Revolutionary houses in America to display a full temple portico and thus stylistically, a major milestone in American architectural history. Much of the interior woodwork is attributed to William Buckland on the basis of style; the plasterwork is documented as that of John Rawlings. Drawings exist by Joseph Horatio Anderson, one of the few professional architects in the Colonies. Although the extent of his work at Whitehall is still uncertain, [Anderson’s] involvement with the design provides a possible partial explanation for the greater sophistication of the building. The full two-story salon of the central block combines with the giant portico to make Whitehall a unique example of Palladian architecture in its closer relation to the grandeur and magnificence of the country dwellings of the English aristocracy, giving an interesting illustration of the extension of this life style into the Colonies by the royal governor.
Whitehall was designed and built under Sharpe’s direct supervision, as was the surrounding landscaping of gardens, parks, and semi-octagonal entrance court. Upon his death in London in 1790 he willed Whitehall to his one-time secretary and friend, John Ridout. The Ridouts altered the mansion about 1793, and at this time second stories were added above the side with drawing rooms of the central block. The Ridout family cemetery remains on the property.
It was purchased in 1946 and lovingly restored to its historical roots by Charles Scarlett. Mr. Scarlett made it his life work to return Whitehall to its historic roots. Painstakingly researching all aspects of the home and the period. He removed the second story addition and Whitehall stands today as it looked in 1764. Mr. Scarlett passed away in 1997. His family's non-profit foundation, The Brandywine Foundation, owns and operates Whitehall today. Restoration efforts on the property are ongoing. They want to share the treasure with others and honor his memory with a commitment to preservation.
Whitehall remains remarkably preserved with over 115 acres of gardens, fields and park lands. The house is set on a mile and a half of Chesapeake Bay shoreline and is one of the last significant open waterfront spaces in Annapolis.
Who We Are
The Brandywine Foundation is a family led non profit organization dedicated to preserving and sharing the historic home and grounds of Whitehall. Each of the 6 current members of the Brandywine Foundation serves as a volunteer board member, driven by a deep admiration and connection to the place and its legacy. We work continually to ensure that all can enjoy and experience the rich history and beauty of this unique place.
Click the video above for a look into Whitehall's history, an interview with the President of the Board Charlie Scarlett, and a wonderful view of how it stands today. Thank you to Historic Annapolis for this wonderful video and for including Whitehall in their series Annapolis By Candlelight.
Our mission is to sustain and preserve this Historic Landmark for future generations, and to continually develop as a resource for community, education and the arts through exploring Whitehalls unlimited potential as a cultural and natural backdrop for conservation, education, historical research, environmental sustainability, artistic exploration, recreation and celebration.
We currently offer a variety of services to directly help sustain Whitehall financially, to pay operational costs and continual upkeep on the grounds, structures and most importantly the integrity of the main house. These services maintain the spirit of Whitehalls origin and offer an opportunity to engage with the history and grounds in a unique and personal way. By becoming a patron of any of these services you are directly impacting our mission to preserve this history and develop as a resource for community, education and the arts.
We currently offer horse boarding with access to riding trails across the 115 acre property. Boarders have access to the property for riding year round during daylight hours.
Weddings and Events
In the spirit of the homes original function as a place to entertain, Whitehall and its grounds is available for Weddings and private events. Visit our Events Site for further info!
Click here for our listing on airbnb!
We have recently renovated a two bedroom home on the property. This scenic and cozy abode overlooks Meredith Creek and the main historic home. With access to a mile and a half of Chesapeake Bay shoreline, pastures and extensive wooded trails on the 115 acre property, this offers an excellent place for a personal retreat, family recreation or simply a chance to reconnect with nature and history.
Reach out to us via our contact form on this site if you are interested in any of our services or would like any additional info. If you have any questions about weddings or events please go directly to our events website! (See link in the menu of this site)
Partner With Us
We are actively seeking partnerships! We are interested in partnering with organizations who are looking for opportunities to develop research, programming, classes, residencies etc., with the intent to serve as a resource for community, education, the arts and environmental sustainability. Contact us if you are interested in working with us to further this goal!
We partner with Historic Annapolis to present architectural, landscape, and collection (interior) tours. We are excited to share Whitehall and welcome you to come visit. If you are interested in visiting please contact us to organize a time. We also ask that you consider making a donation to The Brandywine Foundation for the preservation of the home and landscape. Keep an eye out for events and programming on our social media accounts and events website!
Make a Donation
Want to join our efforts but not sure where to start? Make a Donation and take advantage of this incredible opportunity to lend your support. It’s a great way to contribute to our cause, and every little bit counts. Get in touch with us today for more details about how you can help.