Save This Old House: Bristol’s Longfield Estate

The storied Bristol mansion is on the market for a bargain price.

This house. I’ve loved it since the moment I saw it, this big, vacant, romantic house on Hope Street. I bet you have, too, if you were lucky to catch a peek of it through the brush on your way to Colt State Park or downtown Bristol.

Known as Longfield, the clapboard Gothic Revival, designed by Russell Warren, was built in 1848 on land belonging to the DeWolf family. The land was gifted to Charles Dana Gibson as a sort of dowry upon his marriage to Abbey DeWolf, and the home stayed in the Gibson family for nearly 130 years until its sale in 1972.

It changed hands and changed hands and changed hands. It was a single-family home until 2004, and it was sold in 2007 to a developer, when it was gutted. Buyers hoped to transform it into an artists’ retreat or a wedding venue. None were able to resurrect this grand old house.

It’s been on the market for three years, with an initial asking price of $799,000 that’s since plummeted to $499,000 — a bargain, considering its National Register of Historic Places designation (1972) and its massive 5,200-square-foot footprint in desirable Bristol.

The renovations are intimidating. The dirty money that built the house — the DeWolfs were notorious slave traders — is also enough to damn it to a slow death by weeds and bramble.

Should this haunting Gothic mansion be saved? Take a look for yourself:

For more information on Longfield, contact Dory Skemp at 401-524-2369 or visit

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