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Pennsbury Manor, an estate in Falls Townshipmarker, Bucks Countymarker, Pennsylvaniamarker, was the Americanmarker home of William Penn, founder and first Governor of Pennsylvania. The property was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on 1969-10-28.


William Penn traveled to the New World to start his dream of a "Holy Experiment" free from religious persecution. With a 26 million acre tract granted by the English King Charles II, his dream became a reality. He met with the local Native American tribes to sue for peace and their blessing to settle the land, resulting in success. Penn then plotted out the village of Philadelphiamarker between the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers. His focus then turned to platting and building a manor house.

The manor is located along the banks of the Delaware River, between the river proper and Van Sciver Lake. Construction at Pennsbury was begun soon after Penn's arrival in the colony in 1682 and completed in about 1686. In addition to the 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 that had been his home in Englandmarker.

Penn spent most of his time in Philadelphia governing his settlement leaving the house empty for long periods of time. The house had already fallen into disrepair by 1736 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." The house remained in the Penn family until 1792. Rebuilt in 1938, the house and grounds are administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commissionmarker in association with The Pennsbury Society and are open to the public.

Along with Pennsbury Manor, Penn also rented The Slate Roof House in Philadelphia as his second residence in the colony during the period 1699-1701.


The red brick house stands two stories tall with dormer windows piercing the hipped roof. The manor is designed in the Georgian style and stand five Bay bays wide and two piles deep. The white window and door trim contrast against the brick, which is laid in Flemish bond.

The manor house is surrounded by the support buildings built in either matching red brick, or whitewashed wood frames.


  1. P. L. Hudson, Pennsbury Manor: The Philosopher’s Garden, Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine, Number 4, Fall 1994.
  2. Pennsbury Manor official website

External links

Further reading

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

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