The Highlands Mansion and Garden
Georgian mansion and two-acre formal garden
A glimpse of the massive stone walls on the grounds of this 18th-century Georgian mansion hints at the treat to be enjoyed within. Venture through them and the two-acre formal garden. Stroll the length of the extended herbaceous beds that culminate in a central fountain.
Don’t miss the excellent herb parterre. Moving beyond the grounds of the mansion, take time to walk among the trees and investigate the interesting outbuildings that dot the landscape. True to the property’s Colonial heritage, there is a “necessary,” a smokehouse, an ice house, a tool shed and a bank barn. Notice the Gothic Revival-style gardener’s cottage.
The Highlands was built by Quaker lawyer Anthony Morris in 1796 as a summer house. Substantial additions and improvements to the picturesque landscape by subsequent owners prompted A.J. Downing, the foremost landscape theorist of the 19th century, to praise it as “one of the most remarkable in Pennsylvania.” In 1917, a new owner, socialite Caroline Sinkler, installed a two-acre formal Colonial Revival garden, which earned a medal of excellence in 1933 from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.
Children are drawn to the exedra, a unique architectural feature that encloses part of the garden to create an outdoor room.