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Old Kennett Meetinghouse

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1711. U.S. 1, 1.75 miles east of PA 52

Old Kennett Meetinghouse is an example of an early Chester County meetinghouse before the codification of the regional type. Like others, including Caln ( CH32), it is a one-room building of rubble stone with tiny windows and a gable of lower pitch than the slightly later Radnor Friends Meetinghouse ( DE41). Early descriptions suggest that it was originally roofed with a gambrel, not unlike the Bank Street meetinghouse in Philadelphia. Perhaps both reflected the Amsterdam model where women occupied a second-story balcony. It was probably the development in the 1760s of the double plan of the Buckingham Friends Meetinghouse ( BU27) that precipitated the insertion of balconies in each end and the construction of an operable partition on the north–south axis to separate men's and women's meetings without giving advantage to one group or the other. The south orientation persists and suggests the beginnings of a cohesive architectural purpose that would spread across the region. The building remains in service as a summer meeting and is open by appointment.

Writing Credits

Author: 
George E. Thomas
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Citation

George E. Thomas, "Old Kennett Meetinghouse", [Kennett Square, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-02-CH1.

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