Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park

3655 Church Road
Ellicott City, MD

Situated on a hilltop overlooking the Patapsco River Valley, The Patapsco Female Institute was founded in 1837 as an elegant finishing school for young women. The stabilized ruins of the Greek revival structure are open for tours, and serve as a beautiful setting for special events including weddings, receptions, camps, and open-air theatre. The Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park is located at 3655 Church Road in historic Ellicott City. For the 2016 season, all Heritage Sites open on April 30th. At the Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park, tours will run Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 unless otherwise noted. 

On these dates the site will be closed for private events: April 30th

Click here for a map of the site  

PFI anniversary girls

The Patapsco Female Institute offers a truly unique atmosphere for brides and grooms looking to put a personal touch on their wedding celebration. The elegance of Greek revival architecture meets the breezy lightness of an outdoor event in the stabilized ruins to provide endless versatility for creative couples.

New rental guidelines will be posted here shortly.

For more information, contact Erin McNamara at 410-313-0424 or



Patapsco Female Institute After-hours Tour
April 16, 2016 and May 13, 2016, from 8 pm - 11pm
18+ yrs/$25

Gain exclusive after-hours access to the ruins of the Patapsco Female Institute, perched at the top of Ellicott City. Tour the historically rich and supposedly haunted ruins, then gather around a campfire and listen to the stories and legends surrounding this Victorian-era girls’ school. Then, the lights go off and you’re given time to soak up the atmosphere and draw your own ghostly conclusions! 

Patapsco's Pollinators
July 27, 2016 from 1 pm - 4 pm
9+ yrs/$10

Explore the grounds of the 178 –year-old Patapsco Female Institute in search of our ecosystem’s keystone critters: pollinators. Carry on the legacy of Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps—the Patapsco Female Institute’s most renowned principal and nationally recognized botanist and advocate of science education for Victorian era girls—as you learn where to look for bees and butterflies and what resources you can use to identify and survey them at home.

Shakespeare in the Ruins

Enjoy the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's 2016 summer offerings under the stars. Shows run on weekends from mid-June to mid-July.

Field Trips

We currently offer two-hour-long archaeology-focused field trips for an elementary school audience in the late spring and early fall.

For more information, to schedule a field trip, or to discuss your student group's specific needs with an educator, contact Kiri Houpt at 410-313-0423 or