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New Castle (Delaware)

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New Castle (Delaware)

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New Castle [7] is a quiet town in Delaware, one of the United States of America.

Soft breezes blow from the river over the cobblestone streets and through the quiet town. Walk along the brick walkways and cobblestone streets and instantly walk into the past.

New Castle's history began in the 1650s with a dispute between the Swedish and the Dutch over the land. New Castle was the bustling port for Dutch, Swedish, English, and Finnish settlers and traders in the 17th century. William Penn landed in New Castle in 1682. New Castle was incorporated in 1875.

New Castle is the home of three signers of the Declaration of Independence: George Reed, George Ross, and Thomas McKean.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Directions from Interstate 95: Once in Delaware…

From I-95 North / South, follow signs for I-295 toward “NY-NJ-Delaware Memorial Bridge.”
Take the last exit before the bridge, Route 9 South (New Castle).
Follow Route 9 South for approximately 2 miles. Get in left lane.
Go straight at stop sign. You are now on 6th Street.
Go straight through next stop sign. Turn left onto Delaware Street at next light.
Continue 4 blocks to the main square. Free parking is available throughout the square and along side streets.

Directions from NJ Turnpike / I-295 South:

After crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge, stay to the right through the toll plaza.
Take the second exit after the toll plaza for Route 9 South (New Castle).
Follow Route 9 South for approximately 2 miles. Get in left lane.
Go straight at stop sign. You are now on 6th Street.
Go straight through next stop sign. Turn left onto Delaware Street at next light.
Continue 4 blocks to the main square. Free parking is available throughout the square and along side streets.

Directions from Route 13 North / South:

Take Route 273 East at large intersection (Hare’s Corner).
Follow Route 273 East toward New Castle approximately 2 miles.
Go straight through the intersection at Route 141 to continue on Route 273 East / Route 9 North.
Follow Route 273 East / Route 9 North for about 1/2 mile.
After crossing railroad tracks, bear right into Historic New Castle. You are now on Delaware Street.
Follow Delaware Street about 5 blocks to the main square. Free parking is available throughout the square and along side streets.

Get around[edit]

Tree-lined cobblestone streets, brick sidewalks, and even a drinking fountain for your dog! All these things help make Historic New Castle an extremely walkable small town. Its museums, shops, restaurants, and parks are all within a few minutes walk of each other. So park the car and enjoy a trip back in time in this beautiful river town!

See[edit][add listing]

  • The New Castle Historical Society's decorative arts and archival collections on display in the Dutch House and the Amstel House span over 300 years of local and national history. The furniture, ceramics, textiles, watercolors, photographs, silver collection, books, manuscripts, documents, and newspapers of early colonial life are preserved in these houses. The archival collection contains over 1,000 photographs of the town and waterfront in the 19th and 20th centuries. For information about the Historical Society visit or call 302-322-2794.
  • The Dutch House is the oldest house in New Castle (1690-1700), and is a charming middle class home of the early colonial period. Its colonial Dutch furnishings include a massive kas (a cupboard) and Queen Anne yoke back, duck foot side chairs in old paint stamped "Coutant" and the Delft ceramics that reflect the town's early Dutch period. 32 East Third Street. 302-322-2794. [8]
  • The Amstel House is an early Georgian residence that reflects the refinement and style of the early 1700s. The unique five bay, gable-end facade was built by Dr. John Finney in the 1730s. The Amstel House Garden has a Renaissance-era pilaster, originally from London Bridge, topped with a 1789 English sundial. The public and private Gardens and Battery Park are havens from a slower relaxing life of our ancestors. 2 East Fourth Street. 302-322-2794.
  • The Old Library Museum is an 1892 hexagonal brick structure. Sunlight radiates from the soaring skylight and draws the eye to the extensive, breathtaking original interior woodwork. The Stitchery Exhibit, the Artifacts of Childhood Exhibit, and the Passing on the Story: African-Americans in New Castle Exhibit reflect colonial life. 40 East Third Street. 302-322-2794.
  • Old New Castle Court House is one of the oldest surviving courthouses in the United States. The original 1732 court house was built over the remains of Delaware's first court house of 1689. The Court House was the statehouse and meeting place of Delaware's colonial and first State Assembly from 1732 to 1777 when New Castle was Delaware's capital. Significant events took place at the Court House involving slavery, abolition, and the Underground Railroad. 210 Delaware Street
  • The George Read II House was built in 1801 and the Garden was designed in 1847. This Federal style house was owned by George Read II, the son of a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. This early 19th century house has 14,000 square feet, 22 rooms, and a one and a half acre garden.
  • New Castle Frenchtown Railroad was constructed in 1832. Steam locomotive "Delaware" pulled the train that operated in the pre-Civil War period. This railroad was an important connecting link between the north and south. Located in Battery Park.
  • Immanuel Episcopal Church was founded in 1689 and built in 1703. Tombstones line the sanctuary. Tombstones in adjoining graveyard date from 1707. New Castle Presbyterian Church was built in 1707. The first congregation was Dutch. Located on The Green.
  • New Castle Presbyterian Church was built in 1707 and restored in the 1950s. Located on East 2nd Street.
  • New Castle United Methodist Church began as a small brick chapel in 1820. The present church was built in 1863. Located on Delaware Street betwen 5th and 6th Streets.
  • Booth House was built in 1730. The Arsenal on the Green, Immanuel Parish House, also known as the Thomas House, Alexander Home also known as the Sloopes House, and the Old Academy Building are other historical buildings in New Castle.

Do[edit][add listing]

Be sure to visit the museums of the New Castle Historical Society. The Society operates the Amstel House Museum (c. 1738), the Dutch House Museum (c. 1690-1700), and the Old Library Museum. For information on these museums visit

The New Castle Courthouse (c. 1732) is a Delaware State Museum and provides a good introduction to the town.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Cactus Wren Gallery, 406 Delaware Street (In historic New Castle, just minutes from I-95.), 302-328-7595, [1]. 10 to 5 Tu-Sa, 1 to 5 Sun. Offering fine Native American jewelry and art. Of the over 100 artists represented, many are well known award-winners. All pieces are authentic and many are one-of-a-kind.  edit

Shops include jewelry, decorative arts, antiques, custom framing, needlework, rubber stamps, rare books, and art.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Restaurants range from inexpensive sandwich shops to colonial taverns and fine dining.

  • Jessop's Tavern for killer pub food with a historical flair as well as some fine local brews.
  • Three Crowns is a nice coffee and ice cream shop located abouyt a block from Battery Park. They serve homemade ice cream from Delaware's Woodside Dairy.
  • Port-Fino Pizza and Restaurant
  • New Castle Deli.
  • Jack's Bistro, 222 Delaware St, 3025445174, [2]. Excellent new American Bistro featuring classic French and Italian Bistro fare. Beautiful outdoor patio and great bar. Wonderful spot with great food!  edit
  • The Menagerie of Artisans at Penn's Place, 206 Delaware Street, 302-322-6334, [3]. A Kicky Blend of WiFi and WiBuy... This historic building, circa 1682, has been taking on a new look, and it’s also beginning a new career as a cozy corner for coffee, conversation, and checking out consummate artisans. Reputed to be the house where William Penn spent his first night in the new world after he landed in New Castle, the house was known as the William Penn Guest House for many years. Newly robed in shades of Jamestown Red and Colonial Gold, the shutters and doors are now welcoming a new population of highly skilled artisans, those looking for great deals, and weary travelers looking for a good cup of Joe, a tasty nibbly, and a comfy place to log on.  edit
  • Traders Cove Coffee Shoppe @ Penn's Place, 206 Delaware Street, 302-322-6334, [4]. Enjoy delicious coffee, lattes,beer, wine, desserts, pastries, salads, sandwiches, and soups. House specialty is salmon nachos, all served with a side of free Wi-Fi. Featuring all local food vendors and organic produce; even their coffee beans are roasted a few minutes away.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Jessop's Tavern, Delaware Street. A favorite watering hole, just a block from the Delaware River. Pub standards like Guinness and New Castle Brown Ale are available on tap, and be sure to try Jessop's Wheat - brewed locally by the award-winning Stewart's Brewpub.
  • Jack's Bistro, 222 Delaware St, 3025445174, [5]. Excellent new American bistro with classic French and Italian bistro fare. Beautiful outside patio and a great bar. Great spot with excellent food!  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • The Terry House Bed & Breakfast, 130 Delaware Street (15 minutes south of Wilmington), 302-322-2505, [6]. Spacious rooms with private baths, queen size beds and modern amenities. The rooms offer a view of Battery Park or Market Square and the Court House and the Delaware River during the winter months. Wireless internet access.  edit

Get out[edit]

Cultural & Historical Attractions Near Historic New Castle include:

  • Biggs Museum of American Art [9]
  • Delaware Art Museum [10]
  • Delaware Historical Society [11]
  • Fort Delaware [12]
  • Greenbank Mill [13]
  • Hagley Museum & Library [14]
  • Historic Houses of Odessa [15]
  • Iron Hill Museum [16]
  • New Sweden Center [17]
  • Old Swedes Church [18]
  • Rockwood Museum [19]
  • Winterthur Museum & Country Estate [20]

Historic New Castle is located about 45 minutes from Philadelphia, 75 minutes from Baltimore, 90 minutes from Washington DC, and 2 hours from New York City.

Routes through New Castle
PhiladelphiaWilmington  N noframe S  DoverSalisbury

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