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Honey Brook Township

Honey Brook Township municipal offices are located at 495 Suplee Road, Honey Brook, PA 19344; phone: 610-273-3970.

Historic Sketch [1]

The naming of Honey Brook Township in 1789 was probably the first attempt in Chester County at making over a Welsh name. Settlers who arrived in the northwestern section of Pennsylvania's oldest county from Radnorshire, Wales, brought with them the name Nantmel. Later it was spelled Nantmeal, and means "sweet water." By translation Nantmel became Honey Brook, and was lent to the new township formed from the western part of West Nantmeal Township in 1789. The reason for the name was that the early Welsh settlers found that the water was very different from that in the Great Valley. It was soft because it was not affected by limestone as was the water in Chester Valley.

An Agricultural Township [2]

Above all else, Honey Brook remains an agricultural Township, with over two-thirds of the lands in the Township in active farm production. Moreover, of all of the properties in the Township (fifty acres or greater in size), close to 70% contain prime farmland soils on at least half the site, showing that Honey Brook farmers are making the most of their world-famous soils.

The Township's farmlands, laying in a "bowl" between the forested ridges of the Barren Hills to the south and the Welsh Mountain to the north, are bisected by many first and second order streams. Historically, many of the ecologically sensitive wetlands and floodplains associated with these streams have been ditched and drained to increase pastureland. But recently, many Honey Brook farmers have implemented stream bank fencing to improve the quality of streams and riparian corridors as well as the health of their herds (cattle are susceptible to hoof diseases that are the result of standing in streams). The connections between productive farming techniques and sound environmental practices benefit all in the Township and should continue to be encouraged.

Honey Brook's topography of rich valley soils bisected by meandering streams/flood-plains also demands a flexibility of farming techniques that compliments the diversified businesses of many of Chester County's farmers. (Many Honey Brook family farms have not only livestock, pastureland, and crops, but also thriving [non-agricultural] small businesses.) The Township should continue to work with the farming community to allow this mix of uses within areas zoned for agriculture.

The valley is blessed with rich class one, two, and three farming soils, which makes these lands desirable for the development of subdivisions (as these soils drain water extremely well). This increase in development pressure leads not only to a potential large-scale loss of farmland, but also to an increase in conflicts between agricultural and non-agricultural uses that can, ultimately, drive farmers away.

  1. Pinkowski, Edward, Chester County Place Names, Philadelphia: Sunshine Press, 1962.
  2. Comprehensive Plan Update: 2000-2020, Honey Brook Township, Chester County PA,, 2006
**Information is curated from a variety of sources and, while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed.
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