Rundlet-May House, Portsmouth

4.8
#10 of 12 in Historic Sites in Portsmouth
The Rundlet-May House is a historic house museum at 364 Middle Street in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States. Built in 1807, it is a well-preserved example of a high-end Federal style mansion, built for a wealthy merchant. The house is of particular significance due to the survival of early documentation related to its construction. It is now owned by Historic New England and open seasonally for tours. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
The Rundlet-May House stands in what is now a predominantly residential area south of downtown Portsmouth, on the west side of Middle Street, a busy north-south road. It is a three-story wood frame structure, topped by a low-pitch hip roof surrounded by a wooden balustrade. It is finished in wooden clapboards, and has four chimneys, symmetrically placed with two on each side. Its main facade is five bays wide, with a center entrance framed by sidelights and a fanlight.
The house was built in 1807 by James Rundlet, who acquired his wealth in the textile trade. Rundlet imported his wallpapers from England and purchased his furniture from local cabinetmakers, whose work was noted for its fine craftsmanship and striking use of veneer. Rundlet also saw to it that his house was equipped with the latest technologies. The kitchen boasts both a Rumford roaster and a Rumford range, as well as a set kettle and an elaborate venting system that services a smoke room on the third floor. There is an early coal-fired central heating system and an indoor well. Details of the house's construction are well-documented, because Rundlet and his heirs retained detailed records of work done on it.
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Rundlet-May House Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
9 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • In 1807 James Rundlet, a prosperous Portsmouth merchant, purchased a very large piece of land in what would soon become a prime residential part of town. Both land and the house he built there were pu...  more »
  • We visited three historic homes in Portsmouth in one day, and this was by far our favorite. The house itself is interesting, along with the beautiful gardens. But what makes the property so special is...  more »
Google
  • What a wonderful house and beautiful spot in an old, historic neighborhood. The formal gardens and lawns are so inviting, but it's just a terrible shame that they treat the back , super shady, wonderful tree /woodland area in the way they do. All the leaves are removed each year, and the roots of the trees are exposed up to 5" above the sunken, wet soil. Scilla and wild flowers grow there and would benefit from a nice, year round blanket of leaves, as would all the hibernating butterflies and fireflies. It breaks my heart to see the leaves sucked up and carted away. Then they spend thousands of dollars to feed the trees that would have been naturally taken care of with their own leaf drop. Sad.

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