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“A Must-see Gem!”
Review of Rundlet-May House

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Rundlet-May House
Ranked #40 of 77 things to do in Portsmouth
Attraction details
Reviewed 15 October 2017

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 public displays of his prosperity and importance, as well as personal delights for him and his wife, and the four generations who lived here.

The house as available for tour now shows not only his wealth and good taste in selecting excellent design and furnishings, but also the ways in which succeeding generations modified the home to suit contemporary tastes, while preserving what already existed.

Of particular importance is a large selection of Portsmouth furniture. Portsmouth was a major center for manufacturing fine furniture, rivaling Philadelphia and New York. There are several excellent pieces demonstrating the hallmark Portsmouth inlay work on display.

The house is a gem, and well worth your time for touring. It is a short walk from the main business/restaurant section of Portsmouth, and from town parking lots and garages.

Thank Wombat27_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 - 5 of 9 reviews

Reviewed 8 October 2017

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 that the family left the house with all of its furnishings, many of them original to the early 19th c property. If you visit a lot of period home museums, you will know how unusual this is. Some of the rooms have original wallpaper, now over 200 years old. The many portraits in the house tell an interesting story of who lived there, and their relatives. The home is filled with locally made early formal furniture, with extravagant use of wood veneers. We hope to return to the Rundlet-May house when a more detailed tour of the furnishings is offered.

Thank Herbert M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2017

The Rundlet-May House in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is a historic house museum at is particularly significant because it is a well-preserved example of a high-end Federal style mansion and, even more importantly, is noted for its well-documented details of its construction and craftsmanship and latest technologies. Built in 1807 by James Rundlet, who acquired his wealth in the textile trade, the house is located at 364 Middle Street, in what is now a predominantly residential area south of downtown Portsmouth. A three-story wood frame structure, it is topped by a low-pitch hip roof surrounded by a wooden balustrade, finished in wooden clapboards, has four chimneys and features a main facade that is five bays wide with a center entrance framed by sidelights and a fanlight. Rundlet imported his wallpapers from England and purchased his furniture from local cabinetmakers. Most of all, he saw to it that his house was equipped with the latest technologies, including a Rumford roaster and Rumford range in the kitchen, an elaborate venting system that services a smoke room on the third floor, an early coal-fired central heating system and an indoor well. Ralph May, a descendant of Rundlet, gave the property to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities. The house contains many of its original furnishings. In addition, there are formal gardens, an orchard and attached outbuildings, even a small pet cemetery.

Thank Taylor B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2016

This is only one of many historic homes in the city, and it's one of the better ones. The period furniture is beautiful, as is the decor. It also has lovely gardens and lawns. It's a short walk from Market Square, and worth every step.

1  Thank NHjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 June 2015

If you enjoy American history, please take time to visit this home. We were staying downtown & were able to walk there easily plus got to see more of Portsmouth. Lovely old home with a great story!

1  Thank Irishmom4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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