A Federal-style estate set in the heart of the French Creek Valley
As the 77th Chester County Day Tour explores the County’s northwest quadrant this year, there are several reasons to include a stop at 1351 Warwick Furnace Road. To start, there are three homes on the Tour along this historic road, deep in French Creek Valley: a barn converted into a contemporary home, a 1978 home lovingly built in Colonial style, and this month’s featured home—an estate dating back to the 18th century, with a period-perfect 20th-century addition.
Another reason your route should swing north to Warwick Furnace Road is to drive scenic country roads to visit this pristine countryside in one of our area’s last unspoiled valleys. An area that’s also full of history, this is where General Washington brought his army after the Battle of the Brandywine and where the iron and steel industry started in Pennsylvania three hundred years ago.
Though the term nestled is overused when describing properties, a photo of this month’s featured home could be the dictionary definition. The idyllic 62-acre estate is a self-contained private retreat—with four-bedroom Federal-style main house, two-car garage, separate two-bedroom carriage house, back-up generator, five-stall barn, four pastures and spring-fed, fresh-water pond with spring house. And it’s surrounded by lush landscape framing breath-taking preserved views along French Creek.
Because some of the parcels making up the property are under conservation easement with French & Pickering Creek Conservation Trust, in addition to other conserved neighboring parcels, this enviable viewscape—from hilltop to hilltop—will be preserved.
The original part of the fieldstone home, built in the late 1700s for a Quaker family, was expanded and restored to its Federal-style glory by the current owners. Taking it from a major HGTV-caliber reno (snakes in the basement!) to Chester-County-Day-worthy was the owners’ passion project for 35 years.
Inspired by the Thomas Bull House on the National Register of Historic Places—Bull was a Revolutionary Army officer and manager of Warwick Furnace—the restoration and addition boast historically accurate millwork, hardware and design features embodying the balance and symmetry of Federal style. Expert craftsmanship created a seamless transition to the 20th-century fieldstone addition with its random-width red oak floors and other period details—the only clues being higher ceilings and larger windows.
The home’s first floor includes a spacious eat-in country kitchen highlighted by custom book-matched walnut cabinetry, large slate island and views of the pond—home to kingfishers, herons and ducklings. Sliding doors lead to the pond-view brick patio, perfect for entertaining. A large living room, formal dining room and sunny study—each with wood-burning fireplaces—along with powder room and formal entry, with skylight above, complete this floor.
On the second floor, you’ll find two large bedrooms both with custom shelves, one with a window seat, plus full bath. At the other end is the master suite with fireplace, built-ins, walk-in closet, and master bath with shower and Jacuzzi tub.
The L-shaped guest suite on the top floor has a full bath and shares this floor with an abundance of storage space. And the walk-out basement has a workshop, large laundry room with working laundry chute to upper floors, and a spacious unfinished room currently used for storage but with many future possibilities.
Outdoor living spaces include porches, decks and brick patios to take in the views in every direction—of the pond, stream, pastures and valley. Old growth trees, along with evergreens, a giant magnolia, beech and weeping redbud trees, create a lush environment for every season. A mature herb garden is accented by an espaliered apple tree on the stone wall, while the brick formal perennial garden is a picture-perfect site for entertaining.
Past the main house’s large two-car garage, with loft storage, is the charming two-bedroom, two-bath carriage house—perfect for in-laws, guests or rental. Impeccably renovated in the same style and quality as the main house, it features an open floor plan for the greatroom (kitchen/dining/sitting area with fireplace), plus separate living room with fireplace, mudroom, laundry room, and its own garage. Other special features include the front porch overlooking the valley and stream and rear porch looking up the hill.
Entrance to the property is across a picturesque bridge as you wend your way up the paved drive past four post-and-rail fenced pasture to the iconic red barn. This historic structure was erected by the owners through Recycle the Barn Builder’s “Barn Again” program, which took down unwanted barns and found them new homes. Now updated, the barn has five stalls, wash stall, heated tack room bedecked with prize ribbons, plus drive-up loft and hay drops. A red chicken coop adds a country touch.
Equestrians will also enjoy trail riding and fox hunting, both of which are accessible from the farm. And there’s room for additional pastures on the property.
Near the pond, a charming springhouse, with storage above, awaits a new purpose—studio, wine cellar or favorite hideaway for enjoying the view.
For more information about this unique 62-acre property (including a 25-acre buildable parcel) in the East Nantmeal area, offered at $2.6 million, contact Rachel Street, The Street Group at Space & Company, 215-625-3650 (office), 267-357-1334 (cell) and visit the property’s website, 1351WarwickFurnace.com.