Newtowne Manor - Manor of Little Brittaine - "Ice House"
Pictures taken on 27 Jan 2007 behind St. Francis Xavier Church at the Newtowne Manor house.

    Located about 100-yards apart, the St. Francis Xavier Church (est.1767) and Newtown Manor (est. 1780) are part of an historical district in St Mary's County, Maryland. Also known as 'Manor of Little Brittaine' and locally as "Ice House", the history of this area dates back to the middle 1600's. The site of the original church is believed to be where the St. Francis Xavier Cemetery was built in 1766, north of the county seat of Leonardtown. It is the oldest Catholic Church in continuous use in North America.

    This area of Newtown Neck was used by English Jesuit priests to conduct missionary activities among Indians and to tend to settlers. In Maryland, as all over North America, the Jesuits were the vanguard of western civilization in the wilderness. The St. Francis Xavier Church and Manor House properties are an example of a self-contained Jesuit community made self-supporting by the surrounding 700-acre farm. This was a prevalent type of community in the 18th century. The Manor of Little Brittaine was purchased by the Jesuits in 1668 which covered all of Newtown neck. Income from the farm supported the Jesuits and all of their activities. />

    The Church has a few architectural features which are unusual for a church of that time. A original barrel vaulted ceiling is unique for a wooden church as are the two octagonally shaped brick ends.

    The Manor house is a 2-1/2 story brick, five-bay, house with a pair of interior chimneys at each gable end. It sits high on a brick basement and includes a porch built centrally on both the northeast and southwest elevations. There is also a long one-story, shed-like structure along the northwest gable end. When first built, it was 1-1/2 story constructed in 1789. Later, a second, full story was added and covered by an attic in 1816.

    This is a photo of the house from years ago.

    This is a photo of the house from years ago.

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