Real Colonial History: New Castle, Delaware

Historic New Castle, Delaware

I suppose you don’t always appreciate what you have when you live somewhere.  I had never thought of visiting New Castle, Delaware until I started reading about what to see and do in the northeast.  And I lived there for many years up through graduate school.

Historic homes on the Green in New Castle, Delaware.
Historic homes on the Green in New Castle, Delaware.

I have to tell you that I’ve visited Williamsburg and, while it is fantastic, New Castle is more real.  It is rich in colonial architecture and feel and doesn’t feel made up for tourists.  It feels like a real working town that happens to be every bit as rich in history as Williamsburg.

The historic court house in New Castle, Delaware.
The historic court house in New Castle, Delaware.

And I can’t believe how convenient it is to just about everything in the region.  If you live within an hour of here and have never gone, you owe it to yourself to visit.  We parked our motorhome at the end of the main street where there is a circle on the water for easy turnaround.   There were other areas along the waterfront where parking would be pretty easy too should this area be taken.

The old Dutch house in historic New Castle, Delaware.
The old Dutch house in historic New Castle, Delaware.

We pulled our bicycles off the motor home and toured around the fairly compact town on our bicycles.  What a pleasure it is to see this town.  The architecture and feel of it is completely colonial.  The cobblestones on some of the streets seemed like they were during the colonial era.

The historic Amstel house in New Castle, Delaware.
The historic Amstel house in New Castle, Delaware.

We happened on a statue of William Penn and soon learned this is where he landed.  And the statue is on the cutest little green, or common, with stunning homes on both sides of it.  There are tours of some of the homes, such as the Read House Museum, which we didn’t do.  We wanted to really soak up the atmosphere and grab a bite to eat on our way to Pennsylvania from Maryland and this was the perfect timed stop for that day of travel.

This statue of William Penn stands at the Common (or Green as it's called here) in New Castle, Delaware near where he landed in the Colonies.
This statue of William Penn stands at the Common (or Green as it’s called here) in New Castle, Delaware near where he landed in the Colonies.

Lunch was at Jessop’s Tavern on the main road and just down from the square.  It is a cozy place with a fireplace and low ceilings.  The food is English pub food with a bit of Dutch and Swedish thrown in to represent the area’s history.  The Clam Chower I can attest to is excellent.  There is some nice history to the tavern and you can just imagine what it must have been like all those years ago.

Jessop's Tavern in historic New Castle, Delaware.
Jessop’s Tavern in historic New Castle, Delaware.

It would be nice to spend a leisurely weekend in the town – not possible in an RV I don’t think but we didn’t inquire about overnight parking.  There’s plenty to see and do and it is probably spectacular in the fall when the leaves are changing color and a sweater is required to wear.  But that might be the Florida in me speaking.  Still, I’d love to experience it so if you have the opportunity, definitely do it.

On the square in the town of New Castle, Delaware you encounter the most incredible colonial architecture.
On the square in the town of New Castle, Delaware you encounter the most incredible colonial architecture.

RV Road Trip Note:

This is part of the series of blog posts on a fourteen day road trip from St. Petersburg, Florida to the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania with stops along the way north and south with no real planned itinerary.  We did this trip in our 30 foot class A motorhome in late July/early August with two bicycles strapped to the back.  We traveled New Castle, Delaware from Assateague Island in Maryland, near Ocean City.  It was one of two stops we would make enroute to West Chester/Coatesville Pennsylvania near Philadelphia.  

 

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