Allen House

Isaac Allen and his wife Lydia sold two tracts of land to James Allen in 1765, one containing 326 acres in Newlin Township and an adjoining 38 acre tract in East Marlborough (today Pocopson.) James Allen was a Quaker farmer who was originally from West Nottingham where he married his wife Jane Brown. He removed with his family to East Marlborough and joined the Kennett Meeting in 1761. His main residence was located on the 38 acre tract in East Marlborough which lies along the road to the Great Valley (present day Red Lion Road).

In 1780 a 25’ X 14’ brick dwelling house was constructed on the farm. It had one room in the lower level that served as the kitchen and 2 rooms were partitioned off in the upper level. There was a single brick chimney on the west end of the original structure. In the mid-19th century the house was expanded with a stone addition measuring 8’ X 14’ which added one room one each level and an additional chimney on the east end of the structure. On the south elevation there was a porch across the upper floor of the original section of the structure.  The lower level was built into the side of a hill and the upper level was on grade. This type of structure was known as a bank house and can be seen several places around the local area.

The farmland surrounding the house was very productive and produced crops such as wheat, oats, corn, and hay. A limestone quarry was located on the property in the 19th century and with the large woodland on the farm a productive lime kiln operation burned the limestone to support the farm as well as an additional source of income. In the early 19th century a new 3 story brick mansion house was built to service the productive farm property. There were 2 large barns and several other outbuildings. The water from the Pocopson Creek was used in the farm operation to water the animals and service the house through an early pump. The earlier dwelling would become a tenant house for the farm in the following decades under the ownership of several different families.

By the late 20th century the Allen House had fallen into disrepair, the roof had caved in pushing out the brick wall on the south elevation. After sitting as a ruin for decades the Wickersham family embarked on a rebuilding project with the help of Amish craftsmen. Brick taken from a demolished structure along Cannery Road was used to reconstruct the walls of the original section of the house. Local stone was used to rebuild the foundation and addition to the east. Slates were used to clad the roof from the elements and the 2 brick chimneys were rebuilt. By 2017 the rebuilt Allen House was once again standing proud along Red Lion Road.

Although not standing at the time of the Battle of Brandywine in 1777, the structure and original roadway running to the east of it reside in a setting that has changed little since that historic time.