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John Ashton House

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c. 1700–1730 period, main block, with additions. Thorntown Rd., west of DE 9, north of Port Penn
  • John Ashton House (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • John Ashton House (HABS)

Historians disagree regarding the date of this simple two-story house, which stands atop a rise in open country south of the C&D Canal. Quaker Robert Ashton, a cousin of William Penn, was granted 900 acres here in 1686, and some think the hall-parlor-plan residence was built about the time of his death in 1706, at which point his lands were divided between his two sons. Others believe that his grandson, John Ashton Jr., built the house when he inherited the property in 1728. Either way, it is one of the oldest brick dwellings in Delaware. Early features include the steep roof pitch, doglegged (or stepped) stringcourse on the gable end, shaped chimneys, small windows, and pent eave. In the vicinity, too, stands the early brick Dilworth House (c. 1700), off DE 9, west of Port Penn, originally just one room in plan.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "John Ashton House", [Middletown, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 208-208.

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