Seniors (over 65): $6.00
Students (10-21): $6.00
Children (under 10): Free
In historic New Castle, Delaware, soft breezes move from the river past the cobblestone streets and through the village green on their way to the stately Read House & Gardens. Situated on the bank of the Delaware River at 42 The Strand, the magnificent Read House recalls the elegance of two centuries ago. Affectionately known as Delaware’s own Colonial Capital, New Castle by itself is a beautiful town to visit. A must-see on any walking tour, however, is The Read House, designed in 1801 to be the most elegant mansion in the state of Delaware.
George Read II (1765 – 1836), a prominent lawyer and son of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, brought both materials and craftsmen to New Castle in his effort to construct the grandest residence in Delaware. The house endures today as one of the foremost examples of the transition from the Georgian to Federal style of architecture. Inside, the rooms have 13-foot high ceilings, carved woodwork, relief plasterwork, gilded fanlights and marble fireplaces. Outside, the house is surrounded by a 11/2 acre formal garden added in 1847.
Casual visitors to the Read House can see the servant’s quarters and 13 other renovated rooms during regular hours, which are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. During the months of January and February, the Read House is open weekends, but can be toured during weekdays by appointment.
The Read House also offers walking tours of historic New Castle, a quaint and tranquil Colonial town comprised of authentic period homes and structures. The Dutch founded New Castle in 1652 and by 1655 had laid out streets and begun building homes and shops. At times claimed by the Swedes, and by the 1660s claimed by the English, multi-cultural New Castle is the oldest continuously occupied town in the Delaware Valley.
The Read House & Gardens is owned and operated by the Historical Society of Delaware, a nonprofit educational organization that also maintains a research library and the Delaware History Center campus of museums in downtown Wilmington.
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