Rockwood Mansion was completed in 1854 as the retirement home of Wilmington native Joseph Shipley. Shipley amassed his fortune as a merchant banker while living in Liverpool, England. Joseph Shipley hired Liverpool architect George Williams to design a Rural Gothic style home similar to Shipley’s country house in England. The gardens of Rockwood were designed to imitate nature. The rolling lawns, curving paths, and placement of trees were carefully planned to resemble an English country estate. In 1891 Joseph Shipley’s great nephew Edward Bringhurst Jr. inherited the estate, and moved into Rockwood with his family the following year. The Bringhurst family extensively redecorated the interior of the Mansion. Members of the family inhabited the Mansion until 1972 when New Castle County obtained ownership. Rockwood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places

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The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Katie Hall at (302) 744-5036 or via email at

LOCATION: 610 Shipley Road, Wilmington. Marker is located at lower parking lot