The chances that Crebilly Farm will be preserved for future generations have improved significantly after Toll Brothers’ development plans were shut down by Westtown Township supervisors, writes Maria Panaritis for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The 322-acre property is part of the Brandywine Battlefield, where one of the largest Revolutionary War battles took place in 1777. Over the last decade, preservationists have focused on giving this historic land the protections it deserves.
However, the decision by the supervisors on Dec. 30 to stop the development was still a surprise, as Chester County farmland has been absorbed for decades without challenge.
One of the issues is that many people, including locals, do not know enough about the Battle of the Brandywine, one of the most important battles of the American Revolution.
On Sept. 11, 1777, British General William Howe led 15,000 British and German mercenary troops into Brandywine to launch a surprise attack on General George Washington. The move caused Washington to retreat and gave Philadelphia to the British.
The battlefield was mostly forgotten until a National Park Service report in 2000 identified it as one of most threatened battlefields from that era, prompting the current “battle” to preserve it.
Read more about Crebilly Farm in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.