The Mansion, built between 1851-1854, is an excellent example of Rural Gothic Revival Architecture. Rockwood Mansion was built for Joseph Shipley, a merchant banker originally from Wilmington, as a retirement home. Shipley spent most of his life in Liverpool, England where he became wealthy. Rockwood Mansion was inspired by Wyncote, Joseph Shipley's English country house designed by George Williams. Shipley had Williams design Rockwood Mansion, though he had never seen the site. Joseph Shipley moved his entire household from England bringing his favorite dog and horse (Toby and Branker) as well as gardener Robert Shaw and housekeeper Audrey Douglas.