Brandywine Battlefield: A Revolutionary War Historic Site
Brandywine Battlefield. Photo by Chita Middleton/The Conservation Fund
When America declared its independence from Britain on July 4, 1776, a long and fierce fight was just beginning to unfold across the farms and meadows of our new nation. The American Revolution lasted more than five grueling years—and forever changed places like the Brandywine Valley, where Gen. George Washington’s army clashed with British troops before the capture of Philadelphia.
Today, you can still visit Brandywine Battlefield thanks to a coalition of public and private organizations, donors and volunteers—that worked for years to protect and maintain the most significant properties within Brandywine Battlefield National Historic Landmark. The Fund contributed to this important goal by providing a timely loan, through our Land Trust Loan Program (now known as our Land Conservation Loan Program), to the Brandywine Conservancy, so it could protect a prized 100-acre parcel within the landmark. David D. Shields, associate director of the Conservancy, called the loan “critical to bridging a funding gap and securing the last piece of the historic Meetinghouse Road corridor.”
Without this effort, the very grounds where America fought for freedom could have been lost to stores and houses. When a place like Brandywine Battlefield is labeled a “landmark” by the federal government, it’s considered historically important—but not guaranteed preservation or funding to keep it open to the public. More than a third of the Brandywine landmark is developed. Conservationists focus on saving its most significant lands, which witnessed the heaviest fighting.