Hagley Museum and Library is a must-see stop to add to your itinerary of the historic du Pont estates and gardens of the Brandywine Valley in Wilmington, Delaware. Located just 30 minutes from Philadelphia, aka “America’s Garden Capital,” and easily accessible by Interstate 95, this historic property is an excellent addition to garden- or history-themed tours. The famed du Pont family’s passion for horticulture, evident at neighboring museums, is rooted in the Hagley property. Start your tour here, then connect stories to the nearby du Pont estates that were founded by later generations of this notable family.

aerial photo of du Pont family home
The du Pont family home at Hagley Museum and Library
Photo by Tim Swanson
Birkenhead Mill
Birkenhead Mill
Photo by Kerry Harrison

Visitors to Hagley Museum and Library visit the historic DuPont Company black powder factory and the garden and grounds of the first du Pont family home in America. This indoor/outdoor experience offers access to the black powder yards, the historic machinery, and ancestral du Pont family home. In the 19th-century machine shop, see demonstrations of a water-powered turbine, 8-ton iron roll mills, and black powder explosions. Learn about how five generations of innovators, alongside their valued employees, lived, worked, and played at Hagley. The new Nation of Inventors exhibition expands the story of 19th-century innovation beyond the du Pont family and DuPont Company with a look at several diverse inventors from across the nation who were instrumental in building modern America.

Hagley Barn
Photo courtesy of Hagley Museum and Library

Hagley’s Brandywine Tours are tailored to give groups the highlights of the history and the property within a two-hour window. Hagley also offers tour operator rates, holiday-themed tours, and private group shuttles around the 235-acre property. For smaller groups (up to 10 people), VIP experiences are available with a private escort. These private tours must be booked in advance through Hagley’s group tour office at (302) 658-2400, ext. 259.

Hagley Museum and Library strives to provide every guest with an exceptional experience, so they leave Hagley having a better understanding of the history of this beautiful property. Its mission is to use these experiences to “inspire all people to be innovative in their own lives,” just like the people who lived and worked here more than a century ago.

Lead image:
The du Pont family home
Photo courtesy of Hagley Museum and Library