1714 Barns-Brinton House and Tavern



The Barns-Brinton House was William Barns' Tavern in the 1720s. The Chadds Ford Historical Society purchased this handsome brick building in 1969, and has authentically restored it and furnished it as a country tavern.

In 1714, blacksmith Barns built a house on "Ye Great Road to Nottingham," then a major highway between Philadelphia and Maryland. The spacious brick building was well suited to its use as a tavern, with a private side for the family and a barroom and sleeping quarters for travelers. (The cage bar in the tavern room was installed in 1982, on the site where restoration architect John Milner felt the original bar would have been.) From 1722 until his death in 1731, Barns operated the tavern for "ye accommodation of Man and Horse."

In the 1730s, the property and house changed owners several times. In 1753, the house and farmland were purchased by James Brinton, grandson of William Brinton, one of the earliest settlers in the area. The house that Barns built remained in the Brinton family for over one hundred years, hence the name Barns-Brinton House.

When "Ye Great Road" was moved to the north side of the building in 1938, the house turned its back to travelers passing by. The original entrance is now lined with an 18th century kitchen garden, maintained by the award-winning Spade and Trowel Club of Kennett Square.

As you walk around the building, you may notice the Flemish bond brickwork with black headers and the "diaper" pattern in the gable at the other end of the house. On the US Route 1 side, you will see where another structure, perhaps a log addition, joined the brick tavern. The interior is well known for its fine woodwork and paneling. Fortunately, much of the original hardware remains, probably wrought by blacksmith Barns.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Barns-Brinton House is a contributing element of the Brandywine Battlefield National Historic Landmark.

For the convenience of visitors, a footpath outlined by a worm fence has been built between the winery and the tavern -- the Chaddsford winery next door and William Barns' Tavern.




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Chadds Ford Historical Society (CFHS) is a private, non-profit, community based, volunteer organization that has restored and maintains three pre-Revolutionary buildings which are open to the public as House Museums. Education programs for schoolchildren are conducted year-round by appointment. Events hosted by the Society include Chadds Ford Days, The Great Pumpkin Carve, and Candlelight Christmas, plus many activities. See our Calendar of Events for a complete listing. Read more about our MissionSearch This Site.  See Outside Links. Send us an Email, and ask us a question.