Edgewater in Anne Arundel County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Historic London Town and Gardens
Historic London Town and Gardens is a 23-acre park where discover and learning are daily experiences. Here, a visitor will see and can often participate in the unfolding story of this once thriving colonial town.
Remains of the buildings that once stood in the town lie buried around you. Some have been uncovered by archaeologists; other still await discovery. Visit the active Archaeology Site and see the reconstructed Lord Mayor's Tenement.
As you stand at the site of the Ferry Landing on the once active waterfront, imaging 8 to 12 ocean-going ships anchored in the South River. The colonial fleet gathered at London Town to load hogsheads of tobacco from nearby plantations and unload some of their cargo of European goods or perhaps, slaves from Africa or the Caribbean.
Visit the William Brown House, overlooking Scott Street and the South River - it's still a mystery why Brown built such an extravagant brick tavern in 1760 as the town was being abandoned. Notice the high quality of brickwork and learn of its use as the County Almshouse.
Enjoy the site's gardens. The recreated kitchen and field gardens
Learn about medicinal plants at
Dr. Hill's Garden. Explore the modern, 8-acre Woodland Garden, which features native plants and newer species.
Why London Town?
Designated by the Town Act of 1683, London Town is one of Maryland's oldest towns. Consisting of 100 acres, it became an important tobacco-shipping center, and served as the County Seat from 1684 to 1695. All roads led to London Town. Anyone traveling through the original thirteen colonies almost certainly came to or through London Town.
The decline of London Town began in 1747 when the Maryland State Legislature did not choose it as one of the official tobacco inspection ports. By the end of the American Revolution, it was almost abandoned.
From 1828 to 1965, a portion of the town and the William Brown House were used as the County Almshouse. The once vital town and its inhabitants had faded from memory. Rediscovered in 1994 by archaeologists, London Town is once again "back on the map."
[map of park and gardens]
The London Town Mermaid
London Town's logo is based on a mermaid design found on several English delft plates excavated from the cellar of Rumney's Tavern (located in the Archaeology Site), one of several taverns in the colonial town. The set of plates indicates that the tavern may have been known as The Sign of the Mermaid.
Join us in exploring the lives and stories of London Town's residents like Edward and Elinor Rumney and the many merchants, tradesmen, servants and slaves who made London Town an important tobacco port.
[picture of tobacco pipe] Clay tobacco pipe
Become a member or volunteer
Owned by Anne Arundel County, Historic London Town and Gardens is managed by the London Town Foundation, Inc., a non-profit educational organization committed to bring history alive.
London Town depends on members and volunteers to provide outstanding public programs in history, archaeology, and horticulture. Information on membership and volunteering is available in the Visitors Center or online at www.historiclondontown.com. Help make history - become a member, become a volunteer!
The exhibit panels were financed in part by the National Park Service, Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network and the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, an instrumentality of the State of Maryland. The contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority. Exhibit panels designed by S. L. Rogers Design.
Erected by National Park Service, Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network and the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.
Location. 38° 56.477′ N, 76° 32.429′ W. Marker is in Edgewater, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County. Marker can be reached from Londontown Road 1.3 miles north of Mayo Road (Route 253). Touch for map. Marker is on the grounds of London Town Park, at the end of Londowntown Road, near the barn. Marker is in this post office area: Edgewater MD 21037, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Tobacco Barn (here, next to this marker); The Lord Mayor's Tenement (within shouting distance of this marker); Dr. Hill's Medicinal Plants (within shouting distance of this marker); London Town Publik House (within shouting distance of this marker); Archaeology at London Town (within shouting distance of this marker); Establishing a Colonial Town (within shouting distance of this marker); London Town Ferry (within shouting distance of this marker); William Brown House (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Edgewater.
Categories. • Colonial Era • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 3, 2009, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 983 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 3, 2009, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.