The Rockwood Museum of Delaware

The Rockwood Museum of Delaware is located in Wilmington, Delaware. The museum is a mansion designed and constructed in the Rural Gothic Revival Style. Joseph Shipley, who built the mansion, wanted the structure to be like an English Country Estate. Although an American, Shipley had spent most of his life in England, and he had become very wealthy as a banker and merchant. Rockwood was built as his retirement home.

The mansion was built between 1851 and 1854. However, the rooms have been restored to reflect the way they looked in 1895. The furnishings are mostly original to the house and either belonged to Shipley or his heirs who lived in the house after his death. The furnishings are exquisite examples of American, English, and European pieces from the 17th and 19th centuries.

The Gardens of Rockwood Museum

The gardens comprise 6 acres of manicured English landscapes, referred to as Gardensque. This means there are winding paths, unbroken views, and shrubs and trees bordering the lawn. The gardens are surrounded by a sunken wall (a ha-ha). Originally the wall was meant to keep cattle away from the house without breaking up the view of lawn and space.

Some of the trees in the park surrounding the gardens are 200 years old, and the rhododendrons have grown as large as a single level home. The park is filled with nature trails and exotic trees and plants.

Other buildings on the 72 acre estate are the Porter’s Lodge, Gardner’s cottage, and the Barn and Carriage House.

Butler’s Pantry at Rockwood Museum

In the west wing of the mansion is a small café where visitors can purchase sandwiches and beverages and then eat in one of the mansion’s parlors. Visitors can pretend that they are living in the lap of 1890’s luxury.

Visiting the Rockwood Museum of Delaware

Hours

The gardens and park are open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

The Rockwood Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Admission to the museum

Adults (13+) $5.00
Youth (2-12) $2.00
Children under
The age of 2 Free

Admission to the Park is Free.

Contact Information

Phone 302-761-4340
Email rockwood@nccde.org
Address 610 Shipley Road
Wilmington, Delaware 19809