Warrenpoint was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document.  Adaptation copyright © 2008, The Gombach Group.
Warrenpoint (also known as William Branson House, Templin Farm) has changed little from its original appearance when built in 1756, most probably by William Branson.
The two and one-half story main house is five bays across. It is constructed of random fieldstone accented by evenly cut corner quoins. In plan, it consists of a center hall flanked by two rooms on either side, with a one and one-half story kitchen wing to the east.
A massive fieldstone chimney marks the kitchen wing and each gable end of the main house. A pent eave runs the full width of each gable end, dividing the attic from the two floors below. Since the gable ends are blank chimney walls at the first two levels, their only windows are two small casements at the attic level of each end.
The windows on the first two floors are typically early Georgian, large windows composed of many small panes. Those at the first level are twelve-on-twelve lights and those at the second are nine-on-six. Panelled shutters flank each of the first floor windows, but there is no evidence that shutters ever existed for any of the windows above the first floor.
The kitchen wing at the east end of the house and two-story adjunct to the rear are also constructed of random fieldstone. It includes an outdoor cooking area on the north elevation and a dutch oven in its own stone enclosure on the east. A bell tower tops the kitchen wing.
The interior detailing is of good quality and remains largely intact. Especially fine is the fireplace wall of the southwest parlor. The full height panelling is in keeping with Warrenpoint's early Georgian character. The fireplace is flanked on either side by an arched cupboard with ornamental key block. One of the few alterations is a Federal punchwork mantelpiece set into the early Georgian panelling of the fireplace wall.
In addition to the main stone house with its stone kitchen wing, Richard Templin, Warrenpoint's second owner, was assessed in 1786 for a stone barn, a smoke house, and a spring house. All these structures remain on the site.
A porch was added to the south elevation of the main house in the nineteenth or early twentieth century. This porch can be seen in a ca.1918 photograph of the south and west elevations. A close correspondence between the 1918 view and the house's present appearance indicates the generally minor nature of changes made.
Warrenpoint has been restored under the direction of G. Edwin Brumbaugh, who was able to retain the majority of the interior detailing, including wall panelling, chair rails, and board partitions. No rooms were added or deleted, but the first floor northeast room was converted into a kitchen; a bath was placed within the dimensions of the second floor northeast room; and closets were inserted wherever feasible.
Warrenpoint retains its early Georgian character, without major additions or alterations. All changes made to accommodate twentieth century life were made with respect for the importance of the early structure, and even the fine interior detailing has survived largely intact.
Warrenpoint was built in 1756, most probably by William Branson. Branson was a leader in colonial iron and steel production, two local industries which were of great national significance. He was closely associated with the Warwick and Redding iron furnaces, Coventry Forge, and the Vincent Steelworks, which are all located near Warrenpoint in Chester County. With Samuel Nutt, another leader of the iron industry in Pennsylvania, he erected Redding Furnace, the second iron furnace to be built in colonial Pennsylvania. Branson was also a pioneer in steel production, and owned the Vincent Steelworks on French Creek, where "blistered steel" was first produced in 1737.
Warrenpoint's significance, however, goes beyond its association with the leadership of the colonial iron and steel industries and its value as a record of the lifestyle supported by those industries. Warrenpoint is of architectural importance as well. Unchanged by major additions or alterations, it remains a superb example of the early Georgian style as interpreted in the Middle Colonies.
Its plan, in which the center hall is flanked on each side by two generous rooms and a massive chimney, exemplifies the early Georgian ideal of formal balance. Its random fieldstone construction with evenly cut corner quoins is also characteristic of the building tradition of this area, as is the pent eave which crosses each gable end below the attic level. The large windows composed of many small panes are typical of early Georgian architecture, as opposed to later construction in which fewer and larger panes are employed. Finally, the interior detail, largely intact, enhances Warrenpoint's value as an example of the early Georgian. The full-height panelled fireplace walls are very important in this respect.
Warrenpoint, then, is doubly significant, both as a record of the lifestyle associated with emerging industry in colonial America and as a fine example of the early Georgian farm house, little altered.
Atlas of Chester County, Pennsylvania. Safe Harbor, Pennsylvania: A. R. Witmer, 1873.
Breou's Original Series of Farm Maps: Chester County, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: W. H. Kirk and Company, 1883.
Chester County Court House, West Chester, Pennsylvania. Deed Books: E3, p.434; K16, p.496; O16, p.1, p.3; M17, v.409, p.106; C39, p.844. Patent Book: 47, p.81. Will Books: L, p.338; U, p.474; 11, p.467; 30, p.5.
Chester County Historical Society, West Chester, Pennsylvania. East Nantmeal Township Direct Tax, 1798.