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Du Pont Nemours – Mansion Grounds

Of all the du Pont mansions I’ve seen in this region of Pennsylvania and Delaware, Nemours Mansion is the most impressive and tasteful.  Unfortunately, like all the others, no photography was permitted within the house, but you can see some interiors on their website.  However I have several images of the grounds that provide the feel of the place.

Alfred I. du Pont built Nemours Mansion in 18th century French stylefor his second wife Alicia on a small 3,000 acre plot in Wilmington DE.  Following the European tradition, the grounds are carefully designed and sculpted.  The Long Walk is a series of terraced lawns gently sloping downhill to a reflecting pool so large the family often paddled boats on it.  In the winter the water is drained however, and the fountains are quiet.

The Long Walk is a series of terraced lawns from the Nemours Mansion to the reflecting pool, here seen from the centerpiece statue named Achievement

The Long Walk is a series of terraced lawns from the Nemours Mansion to the reflecting pool, here seen from the centerpiece statue named Achievement

The downward slope of the grounds are sculpted so that the reflecting pool, upward sloping maze garden and colonnade can all be seen from the steps of the Mansion.  The trees lining the Long Walk have grown substantially from the early images shown on the website.

The Long Walk leads to the Reflecting Pool (empty for the winter), maze garden, and the Colonnade from the Nemours Mansion

The Long Walk leads to the Reflecting Pool (empty for the winter), maze garden, and the Colonnade from the Nemours Mansion

The views you see as you stroll around the grounds are beautifully designed from every angle.  This next image shows the maze garden and colonnade from the side.

Another side view of the colonnade from beside the Sunken Garden.

Statuary atop the Sunken Garden stand before the Colonnade

Statuary atop the Sunken Garden stand before the Colonnade

Fall colors bracket the classical temple which protects a statue of Diana the Huntress cast by Jean-Antoine Houdon

Fall colors bracket the classical temple which protects a statue of Diana the Huntress cast by Jean-Antoine Houdon

This classic temple reminds me of a funny event in my youth:  A friend got married in the early 1970s amid the hippie era.  To minimize expenses the ceremony was held in a local park at a classic temple structure like the one above, which the couple artfully described in their invitation.  Imagine the response we got when a carload of young college students asked a Boston policeman for directions to the “Temple of Love” on a hot summer day!

References:

Nemours Mansion

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Mark Bobb

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