Barns-Brinton House

If you have driven past the Barns-Brinton House recently, you may have noticed the rapidly deteriorating condition of the roof. To ensure the building’s long-term preservation, replacement of the roof and pent roofs is urgently needed.

Ongoing restrictions because of COVID-19 will have an impact on the usual revenue stream from Chadds Ford Days and Pumpkin Carve. Applications for several foundation grants have been made, but that funding, if the applications are successful, would not be available until late this year. The condition of the roof requires immediate attention. We have identified an excellent roofing contractor with experience in working on historic buildings, most recently the William Brinton 1704 House.

John Milner and Bill Hauser, with the assistance of the Chadds Ford Historical Society, are making this direct appeal to past and current Historical Society members who have had long associations with the Barns-Brinton House. Our goal is to raise $25,000 in order to engage the contractor and begin work as soon as possible.

We hope that you may be in a position to assist with this important initiative. You can easily donate to this wonderful prooject below.


Thank you for your loyal support of the Chadds Ford Historical Society in its continuing efforts to preserve 18th century America in this area. We are grateful for your consideration.

Noted Sponsors and Donors

Edward and Mary Ann Bassett

Dave Murtagh

Barrie and Judith Hesp

David and Susan Poston

James and Marilyn Serum

George and Kammy Franz

Nancy Olsen

Marilyn Quinn

Deborah Reiter

Francena Chalfant

William Hauser

Louis and Carolyn Wonderly

Carla and Richard Westerman

Arthur Cleveland III

Kathleen Howley

John and Wynne Milner

Bonita Cochard

Paul Haldeman

Fanny Warren

Phyllis Wenner

Susan Beach

Kathleen Wandersee

Robert and Lynn Luft

Pennsbury Township

Peter and Beth Alois

James and Tracy Scarrow

Christine Broderick

Daniel Folmar

Barns Brinton House

In the early 1700s, blacksmith William Barns foresaw the need for a tavern on “ye Great Road to Nottingham,” then a major highway between Philadelphia and Mary­land. So, in 1714, he built a spacious brick building that was to become a tavern. With a diamond-patterned gable and Flemish bond brickwork accentuated with black headers, the handsome building was aptly fitted for use as a tavern. There was a private side for the Barns family and a barroom with sleeping quarters above for weary travelers. Further evidence of the building’s use as a tavern exists in the cellar. There are a total of five niches in the foundation walls. They would have been put to good use, to keep “bevriges” and foodstuffs cool — the unusually large niche probably held a keg. Barns first requested a license for the tavern in 1722 and operated it for “yea accommodation of Man and Horse” until at least 1726.  In 1728, when the tavern was in financial difficulty, the license was “not allowed.” When he died in 1731 he was in debt to 78 neighbors.


The house changed owners several times after Barns’ death. In 1753, the house and farmland were purchased by James Brinton, grandson of William Brinton, one of the earliest settlers in the area. He was the owner in 1777 during the Battle of Brandywine. Extant diaries from that time make no particular mention of a brick building, but claims filed after the Battle show that the Barns Tavern did, indeed, suffer damages.

Barns Brinton House

Historic Gardens at the Barns-Brinton House

The Kennett Square Spade & Trowel Club donates their time and resources to the upkeep of the Barns-Brinton House kitchen garden. The kitchen garden was designed by the Spade & Trowel Club and every year they select herbs and plants that would have been found in an 18th century garden. Some interesting plants featured in the garden this year are hops, sorrel, lovage, bee balm and horehound. 
The garden is open for visitors to explore whenever they visit the Barns-Brinton House. 

Learn more about the Spade & Trowel Club here.

The Barns-Brinton House

630 Baltimore Pike

Chadds Ford, PA 19317


Visit the Barns-Brinton House by appointment only from Memorial Day through Labor Day.


CLICK HERE for house tour price information.