The winter garden: Rockwood

Rockwood, Delaware, 1982 HABS, Library of Congress“Conservatory interior looking southwest,” Rockwood, near Wilmington, Delaware, 1982, by David Ames, via an Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (all photos here).

Built between 1851 and 1854 in the Rural Gothic Revival style, the estate still exists as the Rockwood Park and Museum.

Designed for Joseph Shipley, a member of one of the leading Quaker mill-owning families in the area, Rockwood is an unusually complete and effective statement of early Victorian taste in the tradition of A.J. Downing and John Clauduius Loudon. The mansion house reflects both early Victorian romanticism and the picturesque merger of irregular architecture and naturalistic landscape. When taken in conjunction, the architecture, the plan, the garden and the remaining furnishings depict a total physical sensibility that is fast vanishing from America.

— 1986 HABS report

Rockwood, Delaware, 1982 HABS, Library of Congress“Conservatory, detail of cast iron columns looking northeast.”

Rockwood, Delaware, 1982 HABS, Library of Congress“Conservatory, roof and northwest wall looking north.”

More winter gardens are here. And more abandoned greenhouses here on the blog Messy Nessy Chic.