The Cloisters is located on a 60 acre estate in Brooklandville, Md. It was bequeathed to the City of Baltimore by its original owners, Sumner A. Parker and his wife G. Dudrea Parker. After their marriage in 1905, the Parkers travelled throughout Europe and the U.S. collecting art and artifacts which were kept at The Cloisters and in their home at 913 St. Paul St. in Baltimore. The Parkers frequently opened both homes as museums for the public. Mr. Parker was president of Armstrong and Parker, a manufacturer of decorative ironwork. Some of this ironwork can be seen at The Cloisters.

The Parkers designed The Cloisters themselves, basing the house on late medevial French and English architecture they saw during their travels. Construction took several years and was completed in 1932. The Cloisters takes its name from the cloistered, or covered walkway enclosing the swimming pool (now a patio) behind the house. The stone walls and the roof itself are of native Butler stone., some of which was quarried on the estate. The interior beams are of oak, chestnut, and walnut, also from the property, and were hand hewn by craftsmen on site. Most of the ironwork was designed by Mr. Parker and was produced in his ironworks, including the railing for the four-story spiral stair tower. The garden doors and the windows in the chapel are from the Glen Ellen mansion, once located near the Loch Raven resevoir.

The original estate windmill was a studio for Mr. Parker. After it burned in 1940, it was replaced by the one now standing, and was used as quarters for the groundskeeper and to pump water for the swimming pool.

The roof is made of 1" thick slabs of irregularly sized Butler stone, and the pieces are secured by iron hangers. This roof is the only one of its kind in America. The two sections of the main house are topped by massive, half- timbered gables taken from a medevial house in France. The two medallions set into the front facade came from a 16th century Venetian house. The entry hall has a Gothic ribbed, vaulted ceiling made of plaster. The floor is slate with inset medallions. The diamond paned leaded glass windows are studded with medevial style round glass bull's eyes. The walls in the chapel are made of plaster but resemble stone blocks. The door leading from the chapel to the garden is from a 16th century Veronese house, and features an antique stained glass window.

To visit the Cloisters, take the Baltimore Beltway (695) to exit 23 (North), turn left at first light onto Falls Road south. The Cloisters drive is 1/2 mile south at 10440 Falls Road, on the right. The Cloisters may be rented for social functions.

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Later, I received E-Mail that said:

I am Parker Sutton, the new manager at the Cloisters outside of Baltimore. I have some updated information.

The Cloisters is in Lutherville, not Brooklandville.

Our mailing address is :
The Cloisters
PO Box 206
Lutherville, MD 21094-0206
Our phone number is 410-821-7448 or, toll-free, 1-888-330-9571.

Also, the swimming pool did not use to be in the area, surrounded by the cloistered walkway, that is now the courtyard garden. It used to be down the hill, in front of the house.

On 10-24-07, I received e-mail that said:

Just ran across your site ... we have a new mailing address..
10440 Falls Road
Lutherville, Maryland 21093

And I am the current general manager
Annie Noel Applegarth

We have recently started a renovation that take place over the next 2 or 3 years...

On 7-9-08, I received e-mail that said:

Hi...I just reviewed your site and went to the Maryland list of castles. My daughter was married at the Cloisters Castle in Lutherville...very nice venue. I noticed that someone sent you an email to you regarding some of the movie "Cry Baby" having been filmed at the "Enchanted Forest" castle. Some of the movie was also filmed at the Cloisters Castle. "Allison's" bedroom is filmed in an upstairs room. The dining room scene is part of the cloisters. The iron and stone balcony is over the front door - the door is spectacular. The front lawn is shown in a dance scene. In short, it was used as Allisons home.

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For most individuals getting married or other life changing events maybe a cause for celebration. Some may choose over the top grandure such as a Cabo all inclusive vacation and even checking out Barcelo Maya Palace. This might not be to some peoples prefrence. Possibly not even being fans of the beach people seek other scenery in which to celebrate. Churches, banquet halls, and others retreat to the peacefulness of the woods. Cloisters is just that set off in the woods it gives the wonderful vibe of medieval Europe with eloquence.


Most of the information and photo courtesy of Phil Bilzor.