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Welcome to Llewellyn’s Manor!

1189 Sewell Lane, Rydal, , 19046 Property Website Date Posted: January 7, 2019



Circa 1911

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About This Old House

It’s time once again to take you on yet another magical history tour!!!

I am pleased to present another classic Pennsylvania Farmhouse Colonial in the heart of the Rydal section of Abington Township.

But first, thanks to a wonderful brochure produced in 2005 for a walking tour by the Rydal-Meadowbrook Civic Association and the Old York Road Historical Society, I can provide you with yet another Magical History Tour of this section of Abington Township!

Today’s history tour focuses on the Herkness, Stoddard & Stetson families!

The Herkness family first emigrated from Scotland in the early 19th Century. Adam Herkness was a stone mason in Philadelphia.

His Son, Alfred Morris Herkness went into the auction business in 1833, and ultimately created his own auction company in 1846. His focus was in the auctioning of horses & carriages from a building he acquired called “The Colliseum” at 9th & Sansom Streets. That building was a substantial, round brick building that was perfect for the displaying of horses.

His son, A. Morris Herkness began importing Jersey cattle from the Isle of Jersey, ultimately selling over $1MM in cattle to buyers throughout America. In 1882, A. Morris Herkness purchased nearly 50 acres in Abington Township and called it Cloverly Farm.

It is likely that the Herkness family moved out of Philadelphia to Abington Township because Morris’ Sister (Isabella) married Marshall Stoddart who owned a neighboring farm in Abington Township called “Rydal Waters” (named after an area in the lakes region of England). It is this estate’s name that created the name we all know today!

In 1898, A. Morris Herkness Sr. passed away. Just 18 months later, his eldest Son, A. Morris Herkness Jr. also passed away. He left a widow and eight children at Cloverly Farm.

One of those Sons, Wayne Herkness partnered with G. Henry Stetson (Son of the founder of the Stetson hat family!) to create Herkness & Stetson, a real estate development firm! By 1913, the old family auction business was closed down and the entire family focused on real estate development.

The Herkness family is responsible for the majority of development in the Rydal & Meadowbrook areas from 1900 to 1940.

The Herkness family first started sub-diving Cloverly Farm in 1898, laying out what is now Cloverly and Sewell Lanes with plots between 2 to 5 acres in size.

In 1911, my listing at 1189 Sewell Lane was constructed for Robert Llewellyn. Unfortunately, I cannot find any personal family details regarding the Llewellyn’s of Rydal. His Son inherited the house and owned it until 1945, when the property was purchased back by Wayne Herkness and subsequently sold a year later at a substantial profit. During the 1950’s, the Chairman of Philco Radio owned the property!

What stands today is a remarkably intact Pennsylvania Farmhouse Colonial that is beautifully scaled with a symmetrical façade of 3 stories and a recessed kitchen wing off to the right. The detached 2-car carriage house is tucked into the farthest corner of the driveway and has stairs to a large loft area for storage.

Over the past 40 years, the current Owners have added one of the largest collection of rare rhododendrons and azaleas throughout the property.

A circular drive leads to the entry of the house.

You enter into the large central hallway, tucked under the main staircase you will find a large walk-in coat closet with the powder room tucked just beyond.

The living room occupies the entire Northern side of the first floor, with a set of French doors to the covered side porch and a wood burning fireplace.

The dining room flanks the other side of the entry hall, has windows on two sides and a beautiful built-in china cabinet. From the dining room, one can either access the butler’s pantry or the eat-in kitchen.

Tucked across the back of the house is the family room (with yet another wood burning fireplace with a lovely Mercer tile surround) and a wall of windows overlooking the lush gardens.

Also from the butler’s pantry, one accesses the kitchen. One area is dedicated to providing for a large breakfast table, and another set of French doors that leads out to a rear deck for al-fresco dining. The efficient kitchen has all the necessary appliances as well as a rear staircase to the master suite above (formerly the maids’ quarters, now used as the main sleeping rooms for the Owners).

Both the Butler’s Pantry and the Kitchen have lovely Mercer tiles on the backsplash. All of the cabinets are Woodmode.

The laundry room is currently in the basement under the entire kitchen area with an outside door to the rear yard. The remainder of the basement is un-finished and provides ample storage.

As you ascend the main staircase, there is a large set of windows on the 2nd floor landing overlooking the grounds. The master suite is immediately to the right. The sleeping chamber has two closets and direct access to a 2-room en-suite bath. Beyond the bath is a large sitting room that would make a phenomenal walk-in closet (or a larger en-suite bath) that then connects back to a hallway leading to the rear staircase mentioned earlier.

Back off the main landing, there are 3 equally sized bedrooms in each corner of the 2nd floor along with a full bath (over the front door) to service those 3 bedrooms.

The third floor has 2 more huge bedrooms with high ceilings, and a 3rd full hall bathroom. One of the bedrooms has a large walk-in cedar closet. The other bedroom has direct access to a huge attic storage area over the kitchen/master bedroom wing.

The house has been lovingly maintained by the current family for 40 years, and several large investments were completed in the recent past.

There are two gas-fired, HVA/C systems that were both replaced in 2016.

The entire roof (including all the flashings) of the house and the carriage house was replaced in 2011.

The house was connected to the public sewer system just about 10 years ago.

Tucked behind the house & carriage house, you’ll find the in-ground pool that is perfectly sited into a dell at the very rear, providing complete privacy from the neighbors. The entire surface of the pool was just painted this year.

It’s a peaceful & private oasis tucked away from all of the crowds, yet only minutes from Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and all the shops, restaurants & the HiWay Theater in Jenkintown.

Penn State’s Abington campus is at the end of the block.

Less than 1 mile away is Abington Hospital, and less than 5 miles away are Holy Redeemer Hospital, Jeannes Hospital and Fox Chase Cancer Center.

The Rydal SEPTA station is less than a mile away (for easy access to Temple University, downtown Philadelphia, 30th Street Station and the University of PA/Drexel University stop).

The Pennsylvania Turnpike is less than 5 miles away.

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