I am always fascinated by the history of Talbot County’s early houses and “Old Wintersell” has an interesting provenance. The house was built ca. 1845 by Jeremiah Bromwell and his wife and their house originally stood about 2000 ft to the east of its present location, on the farm today called “Wintersell”. The house was moved in the early 1900’s to its current location and the property was later owned for many years by two other owners, one of whom undertook a meticulous and historically sensitive renovation of the house. “Old Wintersell” is currently a vacation rental.
This approximately 14 acre property is located on a secluded cove off Island Creek. Two conical topiary on either side of the brick walk off the gravel drive reminded me of the famous topiary in the stunning garden at Beckley Park in England, known to fellow Hercule Poirot lovers as the setting for “The Halloween Party”. Behind the conical topiary, the brick walk enlarges to a terrace bordered by low “C” shaped hedges in front of the brick stoop that is protected by a pedimented roof supported by columns. The paneled front door with half glass sidelights and a full transom is placed in the middle of the center wing, five-bay, two and a half story Georgian Colonial house. The house steps down on each side to one and half story wings. This classic massing along with single dormers on each of the end wings’ roofs and the three single dormers in the main roof present an elegant symmetry. The classic white siding has added texture from the shakes of the main wing to the lap siding of the end wings with an accent of green shutters for the 6/6 windows.
The floor plans also have a beautiful symmetry The front door opens into a center entrance hall with a U” shaped stairway that has a widened landing with a window above that filters sunlight below to the entrance hall. The doors in the entrance hall to both the dining room and to the front parlor currently used as a billiard room are aligned with each other for cross vistas. Both of the rooms have a fireplace on the side wall and the billiard room has a wide doorway at the rear wall detailed with moldings and offset columns that leads to the sixty foot long waterside sunroom.
The sunroom spans the full length of center two-story wing. The space feels like an outdoor room with the shake siding, brick flooring and walls of windows and French doors. One end of the sunroom has a single French door leading to the main floor bedroom suite with a waterside sitting room, short hall to the bath leading to the bedroom at the front of the house. Stairs lead off the bedroom to the second floor’s very spacious dressing room and bath that could also be used by the adjacent bedroom to create a second floor master suite.
At the other end of the sunroom are French doors to the open concept family room, kitchen, large pantry and breakfast area. Double sets of French doors lead from the family room area to a deck covered by a pergola with steps to the brick terrace and the pool. The kitchen is detailed with an island in a warm wood tone to contrast with the white of the other cabinetry. I especially liked the corner windows above one sink and the detailing of the recessed cooktop hood with tiles laid in a diagonal pattern on the rear wall. Between the breakfast area and the dining room is a short hall with the powder room on one side and recessed wine storage opposite a butler pantry. At the front of this wing is a secondary entrance to the mud room, (complete with a dog shower for family pets), large coat closet, laundry and another stair to a bedroom suite above.
At the top of the stairs is a short hall between two bedrooms with the hall bath in between. The other bedroom with a fireplace could also be part of the second floor master suite. The third bedroom located over the kitchen has its own bath and a bonus room. The third floor plan has the same arrangement as the second floor main wing but these bedrooms are tucked into the sloped ceilings created by the roof framing with dormer windows. One bedroom is a charming little girl’s room with colors of yellow, lilac, pink and aqua. The headboard area cleverly follows the shape of the wall with pleated fabric between bookshelves and built-in drawers under the triangular shape of the sloped ceiling. Another bedroom is dramatically designed with gray walls and a fabric headboard of checked fabric below black and white toile above. Ottomans in front of the bed are covered with the same toile and the white chest and nightstand on each side of the bed with identical lamps complete the modern look.
Great location on the highly sought after Oxford corridor, historic architecture, water frontage off Island Creek, a pond that attracts wild turkeys, deer, red fox and an array of waterfowl; salt water pool, dock, lawns under the shade of mature trees and firepit to warm cool evenings-great family property or continue the property’s use as a rental until you want to retire! Who knows, you may meet Colonel Mustard in the Billiard Room holding the candlestick…
For more information about this property, contact Cliff Meredith with Meredith Fine Properties at 410-822-6272 (o), 410-924-0082 (c), or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more photographs and pricing, visit www.cliffmeredith.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”. Photography by HomeVisit, www.homevisit.com, 703-953-3866
Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.
Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.
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