Longwood Gardens Will Preserve This Delaware Estate

The 505-acre Granogue estate—former home of Irénée du Pont—is one of the last remaining unprotected spaces in the Brandywine River Corridor.

Longwood Gardens is no stranger to preservation projects. In fact, it’s at the heart of everything the organization does. Founded upon Pierre S. du Pont’s act of preservation to save an arboretum, Longwood Gardens carries a legacy of protecting our region’s breathtaking landscapes in an ever-evolving (read: development-crazy) modern world.

A partnership with The Conservation Fund to preserve 505 more acres from modern development is Longwood’s latest endeavor. The Granogue estate is a symbol of Chateau Country, the name given to the stretch of land along the Brandywine filled with sprawling estates, mostly established by the du Pont family.

“Preserving this beautiful land is important to our family,” says Grace Engbring, daughter of Irénée “Brip” du Pont, Jr.


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The estate was established in the 1920s, after World War I. Irénée du Pont was said to have stood at the top of the highest hill along the upper reaches of the Brandywine River and decided that, upon the conclusion of the war, he would build a home there. The Granogue mansion was completed in 1929, and Brip du Pont and his eight sisters grew up there. Brip du Pont and his wife, Barbara, eventually moved into the house, where he spent the rest of his life. The couple was known to open the grounds of their estate to local organizations for fundraisers and other events.

“Longwood Gardens has shown great care in stewarding our great-uncle Pierre’s former estate, and I know Longwood will ensure Granogue thrives into the future,” Engbring says. “My father was committed to keeping Granogue as open space to be enjoyed by many, and he did this very gracefully just as Longwood will continue to do.”

Longwood Gardens
Photo Courtesy of Hagley Museum and Library

Discussions between the estate, Longwood Gardens and The Conservation Fund began in 2016. The Conservation Fund works to protect the nation’s beautiful lands and waterways to strengthen access to nature, local economies and the global climate. The Fund has protected over eight million acres of land across the nation. Longwood Gardens, with the help of this national organization, is committed to ensuring the estate remains a pastoral cultural landscape.

“Longwood Gardens is honored to play a part in the preservation of Granogue,” notes Paul B. Redman, President and CEO of Longwood Gardens. “We understand the important role this iconic landscape plays in our region’s ecology, community and quality of life, and we look forward to working with our partners to ensure this treasure is stewarded for future generations to enjoy.”

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Related: Mt. Cuba Center Teaches About the Healing Power of Nature

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