1912 Castle – Chadds Ford, PA – Lost in Fire!

Lost or Demolished
Added to OHD on 8/25/15   -   Last OHD Update: 10/30/18   -   41 Comments
119 Bullock Rd, Chadds Ford, PA 19317
  • 12 Bed
  • 4 Bath
  • 8496 Sq Ft
  • 4.99 Ac.
Welcome to Rocky Hill Castle! This property is in the heart of Historic Chadds Ford Township and is steeped in it's own fascinating history! Not on the historical registry, so no worries about renovations! Current owners have owned the property since 1957. At that time the purchase included over 12 acres but has since been subdivided and now remains at just under 5 acres. This home was built by a Philadelphia business owner and was rumored to include about 600 acres. It was a "summer home" at that time, equipped with servant's quarters on the 3rd floor. In approximately 1912, major changes took place and the original Victorian style home with wrap around deck was converted to a stone "castle"! So much fascinating history to explore in this 12 bedroom, 3.5 bath mansion, where some of the original "horse and carriage lane" still exists and runs along the front of the property from Camly Lane up to the promenade at the entrance of the home! The 3 story BARN with 5 STALLS is just waiting to be renovated and since the original owner was a local equestrian, rumored to hold fox hunting events, it's likely that the nameplates on the stall doors were installed by him. The home and Barn will need extensive renovations and are all being sold in "AS IS" condition.
Last Active Agent
Debra Wright, Weichert
(610) 500-1064
Links, Photos & Additional Info
Status, price and other details may not be current and must be independently verified.
OHD does not represent this home.

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41 Comments on 1912 Castle – Chadds Ford, PA – Lost in Fire!

OHD does not represent homes on this site. Contact the agent listed for details including current price and status.
  1. Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 10365 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Curbed had the right idea by calling this a “Castle-Thing”. Although the original Victorian underneath was built prior to the 1912 transformation, I said screw it and stuck with the 1912 date.

  2. AvatarTracy says: 102 comments

    You made me laugh out loud at work. How dare you! 🙂 ….

  3. ArkhamArkham says: 76 comments

    I could get a 1 Bedroom condo in the Bayview district of SF ( If I’m lucky )… or a castle.
    Decisions, decisions.

  4. RossRoss says: 2406 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS

    Note top image, and the original tower roof.

    • AvatarBethany says: 2663 comments

      That image is crazy–a Victorian roof sticking out of the top of a stone castle!

  5. AvatarWendy says: 44 comments

    Wow!! I live in an old iron forge barn that has walls thick like that (windows are inset like these rooms). The huge cross is more than a little imposing. And I wonder what the kitchen and bathes look like…

  6. AvatarAnne M. says: 559 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Hopkinton, MA

    The interior of this is quite nice but I don’t care for the exterior at all. Here’s a 1905, 30 room mansion for about the same price currently for sale in Springfield, MA. This place is gorgeous but the neighborhood is not the best.

    • Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 10365 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Whoa, that is gorgeous!!

      • AvatarAnne M. says: 559 comments
        OHD Supporter

        Hopkinton, MA

        The bathroom with the fireplace is my idea of heaven!

    • AvatarMW says: 727 comments

      I’ve definitely seen $750K houses in a lot worse looking areas than that. Heck that would include a good % of the San Francisco Bay area. And the houses don’t look anything close to that. Maybe like the storage shed out back if they have one.

    • Doug GreenDoug Green says: 86 comments
      1929 Spanish Revival
      Glendale, CA

      I thought this house looked familiar, there was another house posted here a couple of months ago and if you go to Google Earth to view the neighborhood you would see that a tornado went through a couple of days before the pictures were taken. Such a shame, some of the houses look like they got some serious damage.
      Found the other house. This would be across the street

    • JimHJimH says: 4210 comments
      OHD Supporter

      The Springfield house has been on the market for many years – nice but not as pristine as the one next door we went nuts over:

      • AvatarAnne M. says: 559 comments
        OHD Supporter

        Hopkinton, MA

        There are some beautiful old houses in Springfield but in addition to the tornado damage the city will be coping with a casino to be built less than a mile away from Maple St. The citizens voted overwhelmingly for the casino as the city needs the revenue but it will certainly change the character of the place once known as “The City of Homes”

      • AvatarAquila says: 27 comments

        Zillow shows the stunning Tudor selling on 14 January 2015 for $160,000.00!!! That’s beyond a steal. Hope the buyers take care of that incredible home.

    • AvatarSapphy says: 417 comments

      That’s a nice one, Anne. But in Mass, it would cost something like 8,000.00 a month just for taxes. Yikes!

  7. AvatarSteve M. says: 38 comments

    Consistency is critical to good architecture. I’m not seeing any bathroom shots but would certainly hope the bathroom walls, floors, doors, ceilings, bidets and, not least, toilets are made of the same stone. A proper throne for this castle.

  8. Daughter of GeorgeDaughter of George says: 796 comments

    The listing agent’s description perpetuates the myth that a house listed on the National Register cannot be remodeled/renovated (the flip side of that incorrect information being the idea that a historic property is “protected” from destruction).

  9. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4718 comments

    The conversation here is almost as eclectic and interesting as the house itself. As a summer project, I’ve been scanning and posting an 1895 promotional book about Springfield, MA (basically a condensed city directory with photos) showing the western Massachusetts town in its prime. But turning now to this “castle” it is arguably one of the most eclectic homes posted on these webpages. There’s some Victorian flavor for those who like the 19th century; there’s Arts & Crafts elements in the rusticated stonework, Frank Lloyd Wright influenced geometrical stained glass, and other elements derived from the artistic visions of the 1912 builder(s). One can find architectural “follies” dating from this era in various parts of the country and they seem to have emerged as an outgrowth of the do-it-yourself sector of the emerging concrete construction industry in the pre-World War I era. Such home projects often included building your own house using metal molds/forms for creating rusticated concrete blocks that were extremely popular in the first decade of the 20th century. (I have a National Builder magazine from 1904 and its full of concrete block mold ads) Thus, stylistic purity is not to be found here but there’s an abundance of artistic charm from a century ago as well as the house/castle core from the 19th century. I particularly like the detached two story carriage house or what I would designate as a workshop. The semi-subterranean first level would be easy to heat in the winter and stay fairly cool in the summers. In other words, it was built “green” before that term was known. With essentially 5 acres, for the right person(s) this could be a wonderful one-of-a-kind haven.

  10. JimHJimH says: 4210 comments
    OHD Supporter

    This hillside property was part of the Battle of Brandywine in the Revolution as a camp and lookout point for the Americans before the battle, and the same for the British after Washington’s defeat.
    The lower part of the property was farmed by various owners until the 78 acre parcel was purchased around 1880 by Philadelphia banker Joseph J. Martin (1829-1896). His summer estate was called Rocky Hill Farm and he built the rambling mansion illustrated. After his death in 1896 the property was sold out of the family but was repurchased by Martin’s nephew, also Joseph J., who enjoyed the place as a child. He kept the name Rocky Hill but rebuilt the house.
    The kind of rough stone construction used for the castle wasn’t unusual in the Philadelphia area though most examples were more subtle in design.

  11. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4718 comments

    Jim H., As always, your added historical narrative details fill out the picture and are like taking a black and white photo and transforming it into a color image. Every old house has a story to tell and while some facts are challenging to find, those homes with a rich history deserve to be known. Informing us about the tragedy in the Chester Cole house in Carlisle, KY was an important piece of the home and original owner’s story-I’ll always remember that. I know it takes time to find and collect these sometimes obscure facts; therefore, you richly deserve our collective thanks and appreciation even if I/we do not always adequately express it.

    • JimHJimH says: 4210 comments
      OHD Supporter

      Thanks John, I appreciate that.

      • Daughter of GeorgeDaughter of George says: 796 comments

        I would like to add my thanks to Jim H., John Shiflet, Kelly and everyone who makes visiting this website such a pleasure. The knowledge, experience and insights brought to OHD set this website apart from the rest. — Diana

        • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4718 comments

          Speaking for myself, thank you for the kind words. I post here because its fun and my long suffering spouse gets a break from having to listen to me talk about old houses or historic preservation. I once suggested to Kelly she create a “Dream Team” of folks who are really into old houses and know a thing or two about them, even dreaming myself that she could have a successful HGTV show (“Old House Dreams” titled, naturally) centered around folks who are searching for their Old House Dream and using the “Dream Team” to help them find it and make a well-informed buying decision. But I think I drank too much coffee that day and Kelly politely shared she did not have extra time for a TV show. Given how many hours she puts into this blog, I do not doubt it. We all owe her our collective gratitude.

          • AvatarSapphy says: 417 comments

            I had this same idea, John! I think this site would make an amazing show! But it would be very time-consuming. I hope Kelly finds some extra time for it someday. The world needs her and the Old House Dream Team!

  12. Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 10365 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    I’m the one that runs away from even a “hello” from people, I can’t imagine trying to create a show that involves talking to them! lol But if anyone wants to try, go for it, I’d be your number one fan! 🙂

  13. TimothyTimothy says: 154 comments

    While I am not especially crazy about the exterior or some of the fireplaces, I do think that when the interior is restored it will be a knock out home for some lucky person! That staircase has so much potential!

  14. AvatarFred says: 1 comments

    Sadly the castle in Chadds Ford caught fire last night and due to its remote location the home was gutted by the flames. It was reported this morning on Channel 6 Action News. Terribly sad

  15. Kelly, OHD adminKelly, OHD admin says: 10365 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Marked this as demolished even though technically I guess the shell still is there but looked at pics, the shell looked in bad shape too. So sad.

  16. Avatarlizzy says: 1 comments

    Some of the stone structure of the house is fine and will be able to be saved. Some of the walls will have to come down though. The barn/carriage house is fine the fire did not even come close to it.

  17. AvatarA. Nonny Moose says: 1 comments

    I have lived for thirteen years within five miles of the castle and never knew it existed. Does anyone know for whom Rocky Hill castle was originally built?

  18. Kelly, OHD adminKelly, OHD admin says: 10365 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    link to new listing

    New description: House was destroyed by fire on January 12. No other damage to property but remains to be demolished. The Barn is unharmed as well as the utility building. 4.99 acres (incorrect on Public Records). OPPORTUNITY to Rebuild on existing building foot print, Build a completely new home OR RENOVATE THE BARN for a totally unique outcome! Also listed as a building lot on Trend. *House remains are UNSTABLE. Do not go beyond the caution tape when viewing the property.

    • JimHJimH says: 4210 comments
      OHD Supporter

      Interesting real estate economics.
      $674k with 8500 SF house.
      $450k with rubble (plus insurance money).

      • AvatarSteve M. says: 38 comments

        Probably better to wait for the price drop to $445K after it’s clear-cut and subjected to mountaintop removal. We can’t be sure there’s coal there, but we do know there’s plenty of charcoal.

        First it was 1820, then 1820 and 1912, now just 1912. You don’t see that very often, restoration to a period by fire.

  19. SueSue says: 1175 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1802 Cape

    I wonder if the fire was intentional? Breaks my heart.

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