Warrington: The Gateway to Historic Bucks County at Easton Road
STUART LEE FRIEDMAN
Atrium at the entrance to the Health and Wellness Center.
Steeped in Bucks County history, Warrington Township is home to a population of over 23,000, a vibrant shopping district, 300 acres of dedicated parks, nearly 700 acres of preserved open space and wetlands, a network of nature trails, a variety of recreational facilities and top-rated schools.
The township borders the Montgomery County line.
Named after the town of Warrington in Cheshire, England, the nearly 14-square-mile township originally consisted of four villages – Neshaminy, Pleasantville, Tradesville and Warrington – with the town center at what is now the intersection of Easton and Bristol roads.
Among the township’s 15 parks, the largest is the 280-acre Bradford Reservoir Recreation Area. It is part of the Bucks County land preservation effort and includes a wheelchair-accessible multi-use trail system. Two miles of nature trails connect Bradford Reservoir to Lower Nike Park. The park was named for its role as one of a dozen Nike missile sites poised to defend Philadelphia from the threat of Soviet long-range bombers.
Today, those missiles are gone, but some of the access roads remain and the old magazines are still visible from an aerial perspective. Peace seems to have had the last word in Nike Park, with the sound of song birds filling the air. Fifty species of birds live within the park, including the grasshopper sparrow, willow flycatcher, eastern kingbird, reed-shouldered hawk and others.
Several athletic programs are available to school-age children within the township, including Warrington Youth Baseball (part of the Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth baseball youth organization), the Warrington Warriors Lacrosse and Football teams, and the Warrington Dragons Swim Team. The swim team is based in the Mary Barness Tennis and Swim Club, which features three pools, basketball and courts for tennis, basketball, volleyball and shuffleboard.
The spacious Health and Wellness Center covers all aspects of health from surgery to spas, and from orthopedics to orthodontics. As visitors step through the doors, they enter a naturally-lit vaulted interior with a tropical garden, including a running stream with fish and waterfalls. Part of the Doylestown Hospital system, the Health and Wellness Center teamed with Cornerstone Fitness and Spa in 2010 and it provides aqua fitness programs in its lap pool, weight training, a playroom for children and a spa.
New residential communities, including Warrington Glen, Warrington Springs, Warrington Pointe and High Grove Manor reflect a growing community and a place to live, learn, play and work. But the character of the township has deeper historical roots.
The original manor home in what was to become Warrington was built in the early 1800s. The three-story red brick house still sits on what is now County Line Road. It was home to six generations of the McKinstry family, including the daughter of a Revolutionary War veteran, and it once hosted a visit by Ulysses S. Grant who was a family friend.
The Old Grist Mill, now the site of the Old Mill Farm, sits upon what was once a thousand acres of land deeded by William Penn in 1703. The mill, built about 50 years later, provided flour from grain until it was converted into a residence in 1936. The building was carefully restored in the 1990s. The property is currently a nursery catering to gardeners and landscapers. The creek, which once powered the mill is now dry, and the stream bed is now a nature trail.
Originally part of William Penn’s purchase in 1685, the land now known as Winding Brook Farm has been a part of the township’s history since Warrington was established in 1734. It was always a self-sufficient farm, sold to the Garges family 1791. The family still owns this working farm, raising livestock including dairy cows and goats, and producing a harvest of corn and wheat. The 136-acre farm is part of the Bucks County Agricultural Preservation Program.
The history of grade school education in Warrington Township is still preserved. Five historical school buildings can be found throughout the township. The Warrington School, the oldest, was built 11 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and rebuilt in 1808. Education in Warrington has evolved with its schools today ranking among the top in state. All five Warrington Township schools that are part of the Central Bucks School District were graded A and A+ in combined state proficiency scores for math, science and language arts test scores, according to data compiled by HomeFacts.com.
In addition to education, business also thrives in Warrington. Easton Road is the major traffic artery running through the township and feeding the life blood of commerce. Along this busy corridor lies the shopping district, including Creek View Shopping Center and The Shops at Valley Square.
Among about 375 businesses in the township, the Easton Road corridor includes several major national chains. Restaurants are plentiful. In addition to numerous well-known fast food chains, Warrington is home to about two dozen other eateries from steak houses to Asian fusion cuisine. And for those who prefer to eat at home, several supermarkets bring gourmet choices to the kitchen table.
With the latest in luxury community living to historic houses that date back to the time of the American Revolution, health-oriented facilities to preserved open space and natural wetlands, and top-notch education rooted back to old school houses, Warrington has earned its designation as the Gateway to Historic Bucks County.