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Kennett Square Meeting House

  • 125 West Sickle Street Kennett Square, PA 19348
  • P. (610) 444-1012

MEETING HOUSE built in 1707. This stone structure commands a fine view of the valley and the distant hills The old carriage sheds and the grove of trees, typical of most Friends' meeting houses, are present.Old Kennett is one of the oldest extant Friends meeting houses in the Delaware Valley, erected sometime between 1718 and 1731. Its single-cell, central-entry exterior form was typical of the meeting house plans of the early settlement period. At some later date, however, the window and doorway openings and roof structure were altered, and the interior of the meeting house was re-configured in order to support the equally sized apartments for men's and women's business that was indicative of the "doubled" or two-cell form that became the standard for meeting house design in the Delaware Valley by the late eighteenth century. Among the evidence for the relocation of the partition is its somewhat awkward mounting on the post that separates its two doors of the front entry. This and other modifications were made in the effort to adapt an earlier building to the changing American Friends Program. Despite some reconfiguration of the meeting house, it is of exceptional overall integrity and includes many noteworthy eighteenth-century features of Quaker meeting house architecture including pegged floors, paneled partitions, facing benches, and simple turned posts and carved newels. The structure has been largely unused for the past century and remains in rustic condition, without central heating, plumbing or electricity. US 1 runs through East Marlboro Township, which also served as the locale of Bayard Taylor's novels. Prior to and during the Civil War, East Marlboro was a hotbed of abolition sentiment. Many of the Quaker homesteads were utilized as stations of the "underground railroad," by which fugitive slaves were protected and aided in their flight northward. At 59.1 m. is the ANVIL TAVERN (R), around which General Knyphausen's Hessian division bivouacked the day before the Battle of Brandywine.