Georgian Grandeur in Murray Hill

By Robert Haywood | Photography Courtesy of Christie’s International Real Estate


Acton Hall is one of the most important and beautifully crafted 18th-century homes in Annapolis. Homeowners Bill and Judith Kardash have preserved the Georgian mansion with great respect and care. As someone who lives with Annapolis’ colonial history every day, Bill Kardash is exceptionally qualified to serve as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Historic Annapolis.

The story of Acton Hall, as told by Kardash, reveals a history lesson in the earliest years of Annapolis. The home is central to the founding of Murray Hill. In 1651, Cecil Calvert (“Lord Baltimore”) granted approximately 100 acres to Richard Acton, a carpenter from the Isle of Wight. Originally, “Acton” was used as farmland as well as the first port of entry for Anne Arundel’s Towne (now Annapolis) from 1688-1691. Acton sold the land to John Hammond in 1708. Hammond maintained the plantation until his death in 1730, when the property transferred to his five sons.

Col. Philip Hammond, a military officer and local politician, acquired the property from his brothers and began construction on Acton Hall in 1760. In 1844, Hammond’s heirs sold the property to Capt. James Murray, who lived in Acton Hall with his family through most of the second half of the 19th century. In 1890, the property was subdivided into city-size lots, creating Murray Hill.

Today, Acton Hall continues to be a focal point of Murray Hill. After living in and caring for the home for 29 years, the Kardash family decided to put it on the market and hand over the keys to a new owner. Although a private residence, we all hope the new homeowner will continue to preserve this remarkable structure and keep Murray Hill’s historic significance alive.



To learn more about the sale of Acton Hall, visit


Annapolis Home Magazine
Vol. 9, No. 6 2018