Bradford Monthly Meeting traces its roots back to 1716 when local Quakers living within the forks of the Brandywine Creek asked permission of the Newark Monthly Meeting to hold an occasional Meeting for Worship in Marshallton. Their intent was to initiate local services during the winter when traveling outside the immediate area proved difficult. Their request was acceptable to the Newark Monthly Meeting but subsequently not approved by the Chester Quarterly Meeting. In 1722 the Marshallton area Friends asked again and were subsequently granted permission to hold a preparative Meeting in a location described at the time as being “between the forks of the Brandywine in an area near William Marshall’s. The first meeting house in Marshallton was a frame structure built on the northeast corner of the Marshall farm. This building stood until 1765 at which time the present stone meeting house was erected. The land where the original meeting house stood was thereafter converted to a cemetery which still operates and is maintained by the Bradford Monthly Meeting.
The present day meeting house is a jewel of antiquity with a stone exterior that’s coupled with hand wrought shutter stops and door latches. The building continues to be cherished by member Friends and the local community. The building interior is of smooth pine and poplar paneling and is characteristically plain. The paneling has no finish other than the patina which comes with age.
The meeting house continues to operate without the benefit of electricity. Being quite practical in these matters the members simply open the shutters when meeting on Sunday mornings and allow natural light to enter the building. Likewise there is no oil or gas fired heating system. Winter warmth when required is provided by one of two wood burning stoves that occupy the building. Members provide any wood fuel that is required over and above what the property itself provides.