Created By: Sarah Mims
To the south side of Route 162 Corcoran’s Bridge spans the western branch of the Brandywine Creek about 1/2 mile downstream from the village of Embreeville. The 144 foot stone arch bridge was constructed by the Corcoran Construction Company in 1908 and is the oldest representation of this type of bridge which saw a resurgence in Chester County between 1908 and 1919. The bridge has two large main arches spanning the Brandywine and 2 smaller arches spanning the adjacent flood plain to allow for additional drainage during flooding. The road surface is flanked on each side with fieldstone parapet walls with flagstone coping. The bridge was originally constructed to allow passage to the farmland that was once part of the Embreeville State Hospital which took over the management of the property in 1939. The adjacent land was originally part of the Chester County Poor Farm which was established in 1798. The Chester County Poor Farm provided food and services supporting the Chester County Poor House and adjacent mental hospital just up the hill in West Bradford Township. After the Embreeville State Hospital closed the supporting farm the land was managed by Buck and Doe Run Valley Farms as a grazing site for the beef cattle of the King Ranch of Texas. When the cattle business ended in the 1970's, part of the property was used for a time as a commercial turf farm. In the the early part of the 21st century the bridge became part of the 1,263 acre ChesLen Preserve and is now open to the public. The stonework of the bridge was re-pointed as part of the preservation of the historic structure. Exit the parking area and turn right onto Route 162 and travel west.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Historic Bridges of Chester County's Lower Brandywine Creek watershed