Top pick: History and Old World grandeur on 45 acres

Sarah E. Moran

James W. Constable remembers playing with his siblings in the Harmony Hall sitting room when he was young.

In 1954, Constable and his family moved to Harmony Hall, an eight-bedroom estate home dating, in part, to 1747. It sits on a historic tract of 10,000 acres called "My Lady's Manor."

It is in one of the newer wings that Constable played in long ago, a sitting room "cozy with lower ceilings than the rest, whose ceilings are 10 feet," he said. "It is so filled with light in there."



»  Property: 16131 Old York Road, Monkton 21111 ( Baltimore County )

»  Description: Harmony Hall, a circa-1747 stucco estate home on 45 acres, has 8 bedrooms, 5.5 baths and 11 fireplaces, all working. Outbuildings include an eight-stall stone stables with tack room, stone spring house, wood hay barn, a greenhouse attached to the house, guest house and pool house adjacent to the in-ground pool.

»  Price: $2.3 million

»  Contact: Harry Filbert, O'Conor & Mooney Realtors, 2333 West Joppa Road Lutherville, MD. 21093

»  Phones: 410-456-6730 (cell); 410-321-8800 (office)

»  Web site:

»  E-mail:

Church services were once held in what is now the formal living room, buttressed by two working fireplaces -- the house has 11 -- with deep crown molding and gleaming random-width pine floors.

Surrounded by 45 bucolic acres, this property is listed at $2.3 million.

"Our land is protected by conservation easements," said Constable, chairman of the Manor Conservancy, which preserves Baltimore and Harford counties' open space. "Its rolling pastures and woods are in the heart of horse country, yet civilization is 10 minutes away."

Constable called the house "warm and livable, with potential to become a true showplace."

An oil furnace replaced a coal burner several years ago. New owners might want to update the country kitchen, five full bathrooms and single powder room.

Harmony Hall brings the feel of bygone eras, said listing agent Harry Filbert of O'Conor & Mooney in Lutherville.

"A half-mile-long driveway leads into the house, surrounded by mature and beautiful landscaping," he said, noting that the ideal buyer for the property would be someone who wants "a high degree of privacy in a country setting."

Constable's wife Katherine once rode frequently in the Elkridge-Harford Hunt Club's fox hunts, which occur on nearby farms. The couple also kept several horses in the eight-stall stone stables.

The property also offers a wood hay barn, stone spring house, one-story guest house with bedroom and full bath, pond and changing house next to the in-ground pool.

The Manor Tavern, a local hang-out, and Slade's Inn and its spa, recently redone by owners Nancy and Philip Tagliaferri, are close by on Old York Road.

St. James Episcopal Church is just across Old York Road from Harmony Hall's entrance.

Built in 1713, this small gem of a church "drips with history," Constable said. "I hear its church bells all the time."

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