Pennsbury Manor

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Pennsbury Manor
Pennsbury Manor 01.JPG
Pennsbury Manor. October 2012.
Pennsbury Manor is located in Pennsylvania
Pennsbury Manor
Nearest city Tullytown, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 40°07′58″N 74°46′06″W / 40.13278°N 74.76833°W / 40.13278; -74.76833Coordinates: 40°07′58″N 74°46′06″W / 40.13278°N 74.76833°W / 40.13278; -74.76833
Built Original: 1683
Recreation: 1939
Architect Original: Unknown
Recreation: R. Brognard Okie
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 69000154[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 28, 1969
Designated PHMC November 11, 1949 and October 08, 1951[2]

Pennsbury Manor is a recreated colonial estate in Falls Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. From 1683 to 1701, it was the American home of William Penn, founder and proprietor of the Colony of Pennsylvania. The estate and its buildings were recreated in the 1930s. The property was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 28, 1969. The manor house and grounds are administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in association with The Pennsbury Society, and are open to the public.[3]

History[edit]

William Penn, (1644-1718), of England, the new Proprietor of the King's Grant for the Province of Pennsylvania, traveled to the New World of "The Americas" in 1682 to start his dream of a "Holy Experiment" free from religious persecution for his "Religious Society of Friends" ("Quakers"). With a 26-million-acre (110,000 km2) tract granted by the English King, Charles II, (1630-1685), his dream became a reality. He met with the local Native American tribes to negotiate fairly and sue for peace and obtain their blessing (and even cooperation) to settle the land, resulting in success. Penn then plotted out the village of the future great City of Philadelphia between the Delaware (running towards the north and northeast) and the Schuylkill Rivers (smaller tributary running to the northwest). His focus then turned to platting and building a manor house for him and his family.

The original manor was located along the banks of the Delaware River, between the river proper and future-named Van Sciver Lake. Construction at what came to be called "Pennsbury" was begun soon after Penn's arrival in the Colony in 1682 and completed in about 1686. In addition to the central manor house, there were separate buildings for baking and brewing, a large stable, a boathouse, and numerous farm buildings. Penn's plan was to establish the sort of gentleman's country estate similar to that which had been his home in England.

Penn spent most of his time in the central and soon-to-be capital city of Philadelphia governing his settlement, leaving the house empty for long periods of time. The house had already fallen into disrepair by 1736, a half-century later, when one of Penn's sons remarked that the house "was very near falling, the roof open as well as the windows and the woodwork almost rotten." However, the old manor house remained in the Penn proprietary family until 1792.[4]

Along with "Pennsbury Manor", Penn also rented "The Slate Roof House" in Philadelphia as his second residence and city townhouse in the Colony during the period 1699 to 1701.

Exterior[edit]

The recreated red-brick manor house stands two stories tall with dormer windows piercing the hipped roof on the third level for an attic. It is designed in the "Georgian" style of architecture and stands five bays wide and two piles deep. The white wooden window with the door and frame trim contrast against the red brick, which is laid in Flemish bond pattern.

The manor house is surrounded by the support buildings, built in either matching red brick or whitewashed wood frames. Pennsbury Manor was designed by local architect R. Brognard Okie, (1875-1945), who also restored the so-called legendary historic "Betsy Ross House" (for the town rowhouse residence at 239 Arch Street, assumed to be that of the alleged maker of the "first American flag", the "Betsy Ross Flag" in 1776 for General George Washington of 13 alternating red and white stripes with a circle of 13 five-pointed white stars in the upper corner blue field/canton) in downtown Philadelphia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ "PHMC Historical Markers". Historical Marker Database. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Retrieved December 19, 2013. 
  3. ^ Pennsbury Manor official website
  4. ^ P. L. Hudson, Pennsbury Manor: The Philosopher’s Garden, Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine, Number 4, Fall 1994.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Seitz, Ruth Hoover & Blair; Pennsylvania's Historic Places; Good Books; Intercourse, Pennsylvania; ISBN 1-56148-242-0