site site.xsl LongwoodGardens
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page pg_standard.xsl TouristInformationCenter
Just outside the main entrance to Longwood Gardens, near Route 1, is the historic 1855 Longwood Meeting House, which now houses a Tourist Information Center (see Map). The building was purchased in 1940 by Pierre du Pont and has belonged to Longwood ever since, but it was constructed 85 years earlier as a Quaker Meeting House. Its early years were turbulent and closely intertwined with the Religious Society of Friends and with the celebrated Underground Railroad.
George Fox established the Religious Society of Friends in mid 17th-century England. Through his own Christian soul searching, Fox made a radical discovery: God lives in and talks directly to everyone. It was apparent to Fox that something of the Divine is implanted in each human being. From this originated the Quaker phrase, "There is that of God in every person." This Spirit is also referred to as the "Light" or the "Inner Light."
Large numbers of people were drawn to the Quaker movement which emphasized the universality of the presence of the "Spirit Within." Despite intense persecution and suffering, Fox and his followers continued to embrace Quakerism. Thousands began to worship by gathering in silent waiting and Holy Expectancy. The concept of the Lord speaking directly to and through individuals was a radical departure in 17th-century England. However, it rapidly gained acceptance by thousands who were seeking a personally satisfying religion.
Among those to embrace Quakerism was William Penn. With his high social position and an excellent education, Penn shocked his upper-class associates by his conversion to the beliefs of the Society of Friends. Penn used his inherited wealth and rank to benefit and protect his fellow believers in this persecuted sect.
element callout2.xsl WhatsinBloom
A team of Longwood Volunteers gathers horticultural highlights from the Outdoor Gardens and Conservatory. Download a pdf of their top picks for the week, including photos and locations.
element callout2.xsl Victoria_Exhibit
Journey to the wild, remote flood plains of South America and to the great gardens of Europe and North America to discover Victoria, the waterlily queen.
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When you visit our Idea Garden you will discover something new: our first-ever Trial Garden on view for our guests. This square space houses more than 250 cultivars within 10 genera: Clematis, Dahlia, Paeonia, Capsicum, Agastache, Salvia, Pentas, Lantana, Colocasia, and Canna.
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Enjoy family-fun activities, an outdoor concert, and behind-the-scenes experiences.
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