In 1726, a tract of land known as Hickory Ridge, a high point in what is now Howard County, Maryland, was “patented” by royal land grant to Col. Henry Ridgeley by King George II. A stone cottage was constructed circa 1749, and as George Washington was taking office in 1789, Col. Ridgeley’s son, Greenberry Ridgeley, began construction of what is now the main residence, replacing an earlier one lost in a fire. The main house was expanded in the early 1800’s, and a modern kitchen added in 1995. The property remained in the Ridgeley family until 1877 and was subsequently owned by notable Maryland families including The Hopkins, The Owens, and The Clarks. During the 75-year Hopkins period, it was known as White Hall, after their family home near Annapolis. Countless politicians and future governors have delivered speeches at Hickory Ridge on the literal “stump”, stored in the barn and pulled out when the occasion arises.
Beautifully maintained and carefully restored by the current owner over the last 35 years, Hickory Ridge is listed on The Maryland Historic Trust and lends its name to one of the 10 villages of Columbia, MD. The property is sited on 67 acres in Highland, Maryland, close-in to the shopping and amenities of Highland, Clarksville and Columbia. Approached by two gated, tree-lined lanes and boasting classic period details and exemplary materials and craftsmanship, Hickory Ridge comprises the manor house, original 1749 cottage, a carriage house converted into an office, and a traditional English greenhouse. Additionally, first-class equestrian facilities include two fully equipped barns with a total of 20 stalls, a separate tack room and gym, eleven double-fenced paddocks, five run-in sheds, two exercise rings, and a 1-mile (variable) horse trail. Completing the grounds are a 3-car garage, enclosures for smaller vehicles and a carriage, and large equipment shed. The bucolic setting is meticulously landscaped and graced by specimen trees, a large meadow and woods, four ponds, historic boxwoods, stacked-stone walls, old brick pathways, and historic English-style gardens restored and improved by a noted landscape architect.
Unlock the 200+ year-old manor house door with the original lock and key, welcome your guests into the stunning reception hall, and entertain them on the sweeping side porch graced by Doric columns. Choose the evening’s wine from the incomparable underground barrel-ceiling wine cellar, enjoy a lavish meal in the gracious dining room, and then repair to the formal living room for an aperitif, or retreat below to your own Jockey Club Pub to draw an ale or watch the big game. Outside, stroll among the English gardens, hold a croquet match on the side lawn, or host a barbeque in the secluded picnic grove by the large pond. Overnight guests may be comfortably accommodated in the charming 2-bedroom cottage with its own kitchen, sunroom, 2 fireplaces, a full bath, and patio.
At leisure, enjoy the large bedrooms, high ceilings, and modern baths. Read a book in the paneled library or appreciate the view from the sunroom. Cook gourmet meals in the modern kitchen and savor them in the adjoining family dining room, once the original 18th century kitchen. Attend to your personal business under exposed beams in the large, private 3rd floor office. In the winter, cozy up to one of the eight fireplaces. Venture outside and take-in the sublime setting, relish the quiet and privacy, and survey the sweeping pastoral views. Stroll through the lush gardens or meditate in the tranquil hidden Zen garden. Enjoy the cottage butterfly garden by day, or the ubiquitous fireflies at night. Nurture plants in the greenhouse, workout in the gym, jog along the trails, or take a dip in the 50x25 heated pool shaded by 200-year old boxwoods.
Comprising 12 separately deeded parcels, including 9 approved building lots, Hickory Ridge offers many possibilities for future owners. The ability to construct additional homes provides the perfect opportunity for developing a family compound for multiple generations, and for those desiring a smaller estate, the locations of the secondary parcels would lend themselves to divestiture without disturbing the sight lines from the main house and grounds. The large barn and surrounding paddocks currently house an independent equestrian business, which could continue, thus providing the ambiance of an active horse farm while providing income, leaving the second barn and paddocks for personal use.
With an unrivaled location in the heart of Howard County, and within easy reach of Baltimore, Washington, and Annapolis, this historic estate offers luxury and comfort for family living, elegant space for grand entertaining, facilities to pursue your equestrian dreams, and a rare close-in sanctuary for those seeking privacy with easy access to area amenities.