We Dig Hampstead Hill! Searching for the War of 1812 in Patterson Park

Patterson Park, known as Hampstead Hill in the early 1800s, was the site of Baltimore’s major defensive position against a British land invasion in the War of 1812. With funding from the Maryland Heritage Area Authority and the National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program, Baltimore Heritage completed an archaeological investigation of Patterson Park in spring 2014.


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Project team and volunteers, Artifact, We Dig Hampstead Hill

Recent Updates

Photograph by Friends of Patterson Park, September 14, 2014.

[We Dig Hampstead Hill] Join Dr. John Bedell for a presentation on the archeology of Patterson Park

October 21, 2014

Last month, the We Dig Hampstead Hill project team joined in the celebration of the bicentennial of the Battle of Baltimore. Over 200 visitors stopped by our table in Patterson Park to take a close look at selected artifacts and ask questions from the archeologists. This Saturday, we are hosting archeologist Dr. John Bedell for a lecture and discussion at the Southeast …

Photograph by Greg Katz, September 02, 2014.

[We Dig Hampstead Hill] Volunteers process artifacts from Patterson Park at the Maryland Historical Trust lab in Crownsville

September 5, 2014

Any archeologist will tell you: the most important part of a dig is not what we find, it is what we find out! Processing artifacts is an essential step to learning more about an archeological site and the stories it may hold. Thanks to support from the Maryland Historical Trust Archeology Lab in Crownsville, project archeologists from Louis Berger, and a great group of …

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[We Dig Hampstead Hill] Volunteer to help process artifacts from Patterson Park

July 24, 2014

Our archeological investigation in Patterson Park this spring surprised almost everyone with the great number and diversity of artifacts we recovered. Over a thousand artifacts from 1814-era musket balls to left-over animal bones help us learn more about the history of Patterson Park and the people of Baltimore. This summer, Archeological Society of Maryland is continuing its generous support for …

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Video: Baltimore City School students become archaeologists for the day

June 10, 2014

City School students become archaeologists for the day from Baltimore City Public Schools on Vimeo. Baltimore City Public Schools video producer James Mahjoubian came out and visited the site last month and captured a great video of the students learning about archeology and the War of 1812. Enjoy!

Courtesy Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun video

News: Focus turns to preserving history unearthed in Patterson Park dig

May 25, 2014

Focus turns to preserving history unearthed in Patterson Park dig: Artifacts include musket ball from War of 1812, Piscataway arrowhead, Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun, May 24, 2014.

Photograph by Greg Katz, May 8, 2014.

[We Dig Hampsted Hill] Lost a belt buckle at Camp Patterson?

May 8, 2014

With just a few days of digging left for We Dig Hampstead Hill, we’re still finding some incredible artifacts from the early history of Patterson Park. This morning archeologist Ryun Papson found a Union soldier’s belt buckle (almost confusing it with a common oyster shell at first glance). If you look closely, you’ll see the letters …

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About the project

Searching for the War of 1812 in Patterson Park is an archaeological investigation looking for the remains of the fortified line that defended Baltimore from a British land attack in September 1814. The project is an opportunity to research the history of the battle, celebrate Baltimore’s history, and preserve Hampstead Hill and the Eastern Defensive Line for future generations to discover. Learn more about the project and our funders.

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About our team

Our archaeological consultant for this project is the Louis Berger Group, Inc. Louis Berger is an award-winning environmental planning and engineering firm founded in 1953 and one of the largest providers of cultural resource management services in the nation. Learn more about our archeological team.

Image courtesy the Maryland Historical Society.

About the history

Patterson Park, known as Hampstead Hill in the early 1800s, was the site of Baltimore’s major defensive position against a British land invasion in the War of 1812.  In 1827, Hampstead Hill was converted into a public park now known as Patterson Park. Although historians have long known of the park’s association with the Battle of Baltimore, our project will be the first archaeological exploration in the park to focus on the battle and the War of 1812. Learn more about the history of Patterson Park.

Hampstead Hill to Patterson Park