History of Old Swedes Church

Variety of different shapes and sized gravestones throughout the grounds of Old Swedes.
Variety of different shapes and sized gravestones throughout the grounds of Old Swedes.

Learn and Explore

The Church known as "the nation's oldest church building still used for worship as originally built" began construction in 1698 and was completed by 1699. It is located in what was the New Sweden Colony before Delaware fell to the English in 1664. The Swedish Government supported the building of the church for the love and community of its people, despite the fact that it was no longer a Swedish Colony. The Church is made from local blue granite and precedes the burial ground that surrounds it. The burial grounds dates back to the Swedes first landed along the banks of the Christina River and had buried their dead in the "high ground". Today, the Burial Grounds is the final resting place for over eight thousand individuals. A variety of individuals are significant to the history of Delaware including the humblest Swedish Settler, a Secretary of State of the United States, Military personal, and more. 

Also found within the grounds of Old Swedes Historic site is the Hendrickson House and a Labyrinth. The Hendrickson House is an 1½ story field stone farmhouse was built in the early 18th century by Andrew Hendrickson along the banks of the Delaware River. The Labyrinth was built in 2001, the Old Swedes labyrinth is a replica of France's Chartres Cathedral labyrinth. Walking a labyrinth is a meditative contemplative act that helps free the mind.


Last updated: November 30, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

New Castle Court House Museum
Attn: First State NHP
211 Delaware Street

New Castle, DE 19720


(302) 544-6363
This phone number is not staffed. You can leave a message on the park's main phone number (302-544-6363) and we will return your call as soon as possible. If you are visiting one of the seven sites, and need specific information, please refer to the "Places to Go" page for phone numbers and addresses of each site.

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