Rockwood Museum
610 Shipley Road
Wilmington, DE 19809
(302) 761-4340

Places Nearby:
Hagley Museum
Nemours Mansion & Gardens
Delaware Center for Contemporary Art
Delaware Children's Museum
Wilmington & Western RR
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Other States:

Rockwood Museum presents history in a most pleasing fashion, and the Estate is a cultural center in the truest sense of the word, encompassing history and art and offering them to the public through a variety of tours, programs, and festivals.

The house itself is Delaware's only example of Rural Gothic architecture. It was designed by English architect George Williams for merchant-banker Joseph Shipley and built in 1851. It is one of the most magnificent buildings, I believe, that anyone has ever built anywhere.

Another wealthy family, the Bringhursts, moved to Rockwood in 1892 and stayed for eighty years. It is their opulent lifestyle that is represented here today through a tour of the period rooms. Exhibits change to reflect the seasons, each of which brings a different atmosphere not only to the house, but to the entire estate.

The landscaped six-acre property includes a beautiful woods and the celebrated Rockwood Gardens. A Self-Guided Tour leads visitors to many special features here, including a variety of unusual plantings such as a weeping beech planted by Shipley around 1856. A cast iron and glass conservatory, original to the estate, is filled with tropical plants. In the 1800's it allowed Rockwood residents to live closely with nature, especially during the cold winter months.

In all, a tour of the house and gardens will not soon be forgotten. But there is more: Rockwood is host to many special events throughout the year, some of which feature music, crafts, demonstrations, and more.

Group Tours (20 - 45 people) are welcome, too, and offer a variety of options such as lunch or tea. School Groups can choose from a number of great hands-on programs. Now and Then: A Child's Life in Poetry (grades pre-K - 6) explores the life of a 19th century child through poetry. Great Grandparents' Time (3 - 6) features storytelling about the technological and social life on an estate such as Rockwood. "I Think That I Shall Never See . . . " is a great hands-on nature walk, scavenger hunt, and art project. Upstairs, Downstairs (3 - 6) is a dramatic program conducted by guides in period dress assuming the roles of head servants at Rockwood. Role playing and activities enhance children's understanding of servant life at the manor.

Several other programs are available. Class size is limited to 35.

Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10am - 3pm, Sunday 12 - 3pm. Tours on the hour. Closed Mondays and major holidays. Gardens and Park open 6am - 10pm daily.
Adults $10.00
Children 7-12 $4.00
Children 6 and under FREE
Active Military FREE
New Castle residents with ID pay half price.
Groups: Call for group rates.
Group Reservations: About 4 weeks in advance.
Lunch: Only available as part of group tour. Picnic areas also available.
Handicapped Access: Partially accessible.
Directions: I-95 South to Delaware Exit 9 (Marsh Road). Turn left onto Marsh Rd. and right at 2nd light onto Washington St. Extension. Next light turn right onto Shipley Rd. First driveway on left. 30 - 60 minutes from Philadelphia.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.