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Swett-Ilsley House

Newbury, Massachusetts

c. 1670

 Swett exterior

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In 1911, Swett-Ilsley House became the first property acquired by Historic New England, just a year after its founding. The original portion, built in 1670 by Stephen Swett, was one room deep, and later additions more than doubled the size of the house. Over the centuries, the building served as a tavern, chocolate shop, chandlery, and press room, in part due to its location on Newbury's most traveled road.

Swett-Ilsley House had been brought to the attention of Historic New England founder William Sumner Appleton by an acquaintance who believed it to be one of the oldest surviving houses in the region. After the house was acquired for $2,400, nineteenth-century building layers were removed to expose the earliest architectural features. It has one of the largest fireplaces in New England, more than ten feet wide, and containing three beehive ovens.

Please visit nearby Coffin House, Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm, and Dole-Little House.

Visit Swett-Ilsley House

First Saturdays, June 1 – October 15
(Closed July 4, 2015; open July 11 instead)
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

$5 adults
$4 seniors
$2.50 students
Free for Historic New England members and Newbury residents. Become a member.

Location and directions
Swett-Ilsley House
4 High Road
Newbury, Mass. 01951

Map and directions 

Directions detail: The Swett-Ilsley House is on Route 1A just over the Newbury border from Newburyport.

Parking: There is no lot, but on-street parking is permitted for short periods of time.

Contact Swett-Ilsley House

Telephone: 978-462-2634
Contact Swett-Ilsley House by e-mail.

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Related links

Escapes North
Newburyport Chamber of Commerce
Newburyport Today





Swett-Ilsley House