Delaware February 09, 2021
This Eerie And Fantastic Footage Takes You Inside Delaware’s Abandoned Bancroft Mills
The history of industry in northern Delaware is dominated by stories of the DuPonts, but anyone who has spent time in New Castle County can tell you about the other historic factories and abandoned remains of the industrial revolution in the First State. One of these sites is an easy to spot reminder of our history, and it sits right along the Brandywine Creek in Wilmington.
The original Bancroft Mills textile company opened on the banks of the Brandywine in 1831, and the site soon grew to a huge cotton-finishing factory.
The complex was busy and active until 1961 when it was shut down due to a shift of industrial priorities in New Castle County. Shortly after, the Wilmington Piece Dye company bought the mill complex. When the company filed for bankruptcy in 2003, it seemed like Bancroft Mills was to be completely abandoned.
It didn't take long for developers to swoop in on this prime piece of riverfront property. Several condominium units were built along the back of the old mill complex, on the river. The architects took design inspiration from the historic mill.
Other development plans have struggled due to two fires that destroyed much of the site.
In May 2015, an enormous fire ripped through many of the abandoned buildings, and developers dropped their plans and forgot about the Mill. Just two years later, another fire tore through the old mill. This time the flames made a huge impact, and the mill was still smoldering a week later.
Take a look at what Bancroft Mills looked like right after the huge fire in 2015 in this drone footage from YouTube user, Dyslexia Pilot: VIDEO
If you want to get a closer look at the remnants of Bancroft Mills, head to Alapocas Run State Park, or Rockford Park.
In Alapocas Run State Park, you'll find the main trail takes you up past a rock climbing wall and then down toward the mill race. There, an old industrial bridge creates a side trail that shows off views of Bancroft Mills. In Rockford Park, a greenway trail takes you up close to the old mill sites.
Nowadays, much of the view is obscured by the new housing created along the river, on the back end of the former mill complex.
Historians and locals alike hope that those moving into these riverfront apartments have an appreciation for the structures and industry that stood on this spot for so long.
If you enjoy seeing historic sites and exploring Delaware’s past,
Visit These Fascinating Ruins In Delaware For An Adventure Into The Past. Address: Bancroft Mills Rd, Wilmington, DE 19806, USA