Now a six-acre oasis in the middle of a bustling Philadelphia neighborhood, Cliveden was an estate in the suburb of Germantown built just before the Revolutionary War by the Chew family. One of the most lavish mansions of its era, Cliveden is stocked with furniture and artifacts designed to evoke Colonial times.<>
The builder, Benjamin Chew, was actually a loyalist and spent time in a New Jersey prison during the Revolution, but was rehabilitated and had a life of public service to the new nation after the war. The Battle of Germantown was fought on his land and after the war, another mansion, Upsala, which can be rented for functions, was built across the street.
Dozens of British soldiers holed up in Cliveden as Gen. George Washington’s army attacked at the Battle of Germantown in October, 1777. The Americans couldn’t oust the British and had to retreat. More than 1000 men from both sides were either killed or injured during the intense fighting in battle. The mansion stayed in the Chew family until it was donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1972.