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Radnor Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania facts for kids

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Radnor Township
Township with home rule
Township of Radnor
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Official seal of Radnor Township
Seal
Official logo of Radnor Township
Logo
Etymology: Named for Radnorshire, Wales
Motto(s): 
"Best of the Main Line"
Location in Delaware County and the state of Pennsylvania.
Location in Delaware County and the state of Pennsylvania.
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Coordinates: 40°2′11″N 75°22′21″W / 40.03639°N 75.37250°W / 40.03639; -75.37250Coordinates: 40°2′11″N 75°22′21″W / 40.03639°N 75.37250°W / 40.03639; -75.37250
Country  United States
State  Pennsylvania
County Delaware
Historic colony Province of Pennsylvania
Founded 1682
Incorporated 1901
Founded by William Penn
Government
 • Type Board of Commissioners
Area
 • Total 13.79 sq mi (35.72 km2)
 • Land 13.78 sq mi (35.68 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.04 km2)
Elevation
381 ft (116 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 31,531
 • Estimate 
(2019)
31,875
 • Density 2,309.38/sq mi (891.64/km2)
Demonym(s) Radnorite
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
190xx
Area code(s) 610, 484
FIPS code 42-045-63264
Interstates I-476.svg
U.S. Routes US 30.svg
Commuter rail Paoli/Thorndale Line
Rapid transit Norristown High Speed Line
Website Radnor Township

Radnor Township, often called simply Radnor, is a first class township with home rule status in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. As of the 2019 United States census estimate, the township population is 31,875. Radnor Township is the largest municipality in Delaware County by land area and the fourth-largest by population, following Upper Darby Township, Haverford Township, and Chester.

Radnor Township is one of the oldest municipalities in Pennsylvania. Radnor Township was founded as a part of the Welsh tract. The original settlers were Welsh-speaking Quakers, led by John Roberts, in an attempt to establish an barony of Wales in Pennsylvania. In about 1681, a group of Welsh Quakers met with William Penn to secure a grant of land in which they could conduct their affairs in their own language. The parties agreed on a tract covering 40,000 acres (160 km2), to be constituted as a separate county whose people and government could conduct their affairs in Welsh. William Penn, an English Quaker, laid out the township in an elongated rectangle located parallel to the Schuylkill River, and the borders of the township have remained unchanged since its founding in 1682.

In 1717, the Welsh Friends built a meeting house on a trail made by the Susquehannock Indians in Radnor Township. Radnor Township grew around the meeting house and remained the center of population of the township for 200 years. The new township was named "Radnor" after the county in Wales called Radnorshire. The influence of the Welsh, some of whom were forced by heavy taxation to sell their land, waned in the latter half of the 18th century. A hint of Radnor's beginnings remain in the names of streets and places evident throughout the community, such as the St. Davids neighborhood, named for Saint David, the patron saint of Wales.

There are a number colleges and universities located in Radnor Township. The two largest, Villanova University and Cabrini University. The Valley Forge Military Academy and College is located in the neighborhood of Wayne and Eastern University is located in the neighborhood of St. Davids.

History

MilePostRadnor
Memorial mile post on U.S. 30 in front of the Anthony Wayne Theater and the AT&T tower in the background.

Radnor Township was founded 1682 as a land grant from William Penn. The township was part of the Welsh Tract and was named for Radnorshire in Wales. In 1717, the Welsh Friends erected a Quaker meetinghouse (Radnor Friends Meetinghouse) near what is now the intersection of Conestoga Road and Sproul Road at the geographic center of the township. The new town, "Radnorville", later known as the community of "Ithan" after nearby Ithan Creek, grew around the meetinghouse. The Welsh influence waned in the late 18th century as many left the area due to high taxation. Stone monuments were erected in various locations throughout the township in the late 20th century to commemorate the township's Welsh heritage.

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The main house at Chanticleer Garden.

Other historic structures in Radnor Township include the Sorrel Horse, a former tavern located on Conestoga Road that sheltered George Washington and Lafayette during the Continental Army's retreat back to Philadelphia from the Battle of Brandywine.

Lancaster Pike, the first toll road in the United States, connected the cities of Philadelphia and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, passing through Radnor Township, opened in 1794. That road is now part of the Lincoln Highway (U.S. Route 30). The Columbia Railroad, later part of the Pennsylvania Railroad also passed through in 1832. Thus, Radnor is one of the towns associated with the local moniker "Main Line." A separate railroad passing through Radnor Township, the Philadelphia and Western Railroad, was opened in the early 20th century. The "Main Line" railroad facilities and a portion of the P&W facilities are still used by SEPTA (the Philadelphia area's transit authority), and the "Main Line" railroad tracks are owned and used by AMTRAK.

In the 1880s, George W. Childs bought property in the community of Louella in the western part of Radnor Township, renamed the area Wayne, Pennsylvania (after American Revolutionary War hero Anthony Wayne) and organized one of the United States's first suburban developments.

The Radnor Friends Meetinghouse and Woodcrest are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Geography

Radnor Township is located at 40°2′0″N 75°22′18″W / 40.03333°N 75.37167°W / 40.03333; -75.37167 (40.033433, −75.371843).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 13.8 square miles (35.7 km²), of which 13.8 square miles (35.6 km²) of it is land and 0.07% is water.

Demographics

Racial breakdown

As of Census 2010, the racial makeup of the township was 85.8% White, 3.9% African American, 0.2% Native American, 7.9% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.0% of the population Explore Census Data.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 12,263
1940 12,012 −2.0%
1950 14,709 22.5%
1960 21,697 47.5%
1970 28,782 32.7%
1980 27,676 −3.8%
1990 28,703 3.7%
2000 30,878 7.6%
2010 31,531 2.1%
2020 33,228 5.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 30,878 people, 10,347 households, and 6,373 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,244.3 inhabitants per square mile (866.4/km2). There were 10,731 housing units at an average density of 779.9 per square mile (301.1/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 89.55% White, 5.67% Asian, 3.09% African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.62% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. 2.03% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Familial size

There were 10,347 households, out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.9% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.4% were non-families. 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.08.

Age and poverty

In the township the population was spread out, with 19.5% under the age of 18, 24.0% from 18 to 24, 22.5% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.6 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the township was $86,812, and the median income for a family was $113,601. Males had a median income of $71,308 versus $42,652 for females. The per capita income for the township was $39,813. About 2.4% of families and 6.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.9% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.

Religion

Religion in Radnor Township
religion percent
Catholic
  
48.1%
Unaffiliated
  
35.5%
Protestant
  
10.5%
Other Christian
  
3.1%
Muslim
  
0.8%
Jewish
  
0.6%

The population of Radnor Township in 2010 was 31,531. Of these, about 20,337 (64.5%) were estimated to belong to some form of organized religion. Pennsylvania was unique in its guarantee of religious freedoms, one result of this uncommon freedom was a wide religious diversity, which continues to the present.

Quakerism was brought to Radnor after William Penn granted Welsh settlers land west of Philadelphia to establish the Welsh Tract. The Radnor Friends Meetinghouse was built in 1717. Beginning in the nineteenth century, an influx of Irish, Italian, and Polish immigrants to the Delaware Valley caused the growth of Catholic neighborhoods in Garrett Hill and Villanova. The development of these Catholic communities expanded further with the foundation of Villanova University and Cabrini University.

According to Sperling's BestPlaces, the largest religious group in Radnor Township is the Catholic Church, represented by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Almost half of Radnor residents identify as Catholics, and there are more Catholic parishes in Radnor than any other religious group. According to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Radnorites are served by five parishes: St. Thomas of Villanova Parish, St. Katharine of Siena Parish, SS. Colman and John Neumann Parish, Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish, and St. Monica Parish.

St. David's Episcopal Church is one of the oldest houses of worship in Radnor and one of the oldest in the United States. Its parish is divided between Radnor and Newtown Township in Delaware County, as well as Easttown Township in Chester County. St. David's Episcopal Parish is the largest in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.

Languages

As of 2000, 90.57% (26,115) of Radnor residents aged five and older spoke only English at home, while 9.43% (2,720) spoke any language besides English. Among the largest were Spanish (2.46%), French (0.99%) and Chinese (0.87%).

Arts and culture

Places of worship include St. David's Episcopal Church, whose graveyard, and buildings begun in 1715, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Villanova Theatre serves both the university campus community and the Greater Philadelphia area. The Villanova Theatre produces four shows each academic school year presenting a wide range of dramas, comedies, and musicals. Since 1995, the department has received 49 nominations and six Barrymore Awards.

Economy

Lincoln Financial Group is headquartered in Radnor Township. In 2007 the company moved 400 employees, including its top executives, to Radnor from Philadelphia. Other companies based in Radnor Township include, J. G. Wentworth, TV Guide magazine and Airgas.

Top employers

According to Radnor Township's 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

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The main house at Chanticleer Garden.
# Employer # of Employees Community
1 Villanova University 3,438 Villanova
2 Radnor Township School District 933 Wayne
3 Eastern University 841 St. Davids
4 Lincoln Financial 641 Radnor
5 VWR 448 Radnor
6 Janssen Biotech 403 Radnor
7 Penn Medicine Radnor 367 Radnor
8 Cabrini University 332 Radnor
9 Jefferson Health System 318 Radnor
10 J.G. Wentworth 279 Radnor

Education

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

Pupils in Radnor Township attend Radnor Township School District. Radnor High School and Radnor Middle School are the sole public high and middle schools of the district. There are three elementary schools in the RTSD: Radnor Elementary School, Ithan Elementary School, and Wayne Elementary School.

Private schools

Archbishop John Carroll High School, a Roman Catholic High School in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Valley Forge Military Academy and College contains a boarding school program for seventh through twelfth grades. The Agnes Irwin School is an all-girls school for prekindergarten through twelfth grade. St. Katharine of Siena is a Catholic school in Wayne for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The Hill Top Preparatory School is a school located in Ithan for students with learning disabilities in fifth through twelfth grade. Armenian Sisters Academy, an Armenian primary school, has a Radnor postal address but is located in Upper Merion Township.

Colleges and universities

Villanova University, Eastern University, and Cabrini University are located within Radnor Township. Valley Forge Military Academy and College operates a two-year junior college.

Sports

Radnor Township is home to the Villanova Wildcats, the NCAA Division I athletic program of Villanova University, the Cabrini Cavaliers, the NCAA Division III athletic program of Cabrini University, and the Eastern Eagles, the NCAA Division III athletic program of Eastern University.

The Villanova Wildcats have a storied athletic program, the pinnacle of which being their men's basketball program. The Wildcats are consistently ranked among the AP Top 25, and won the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 1985, 2016, and 2018. Each of these championships featured celebrations by students at the intersection of Lancaster and Ithan Avenues.

The Cabrini Cavaliers won their first NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship in 2019, defeating the Amherst Mammoths by a score of 16–12.

School Nickname Colors Association Conference
Villanova University Wildcats Blue and White NCAA Division I Big East
Cabrini University Cavaliers Blue and White NCAA Division III Atlantic East
Eastern University Eagles Maroon and White NCAA Division III MAC

Infrastructure

Transportation

GoshenRoadBridge
Goshen Road Bridge

Public Transportation

Radnor Township is serviced by SEPTA Regional Rail's Paoli/Thorndale Line which has stations within the township at Wayne, St. Davids, Radnor, and Villanova. Eastern Radnor Township is served by SEPTA's Norristown High Speed Line, an interurban heavy rail line. Within Radnor Township, there are seven stations located at Bryn Mawr, Roberts Road, Garrett Hill, Stadium – Ithan Avenue, Villanova, Radnor, and County Line.

SEPTA Suburban Bus Route 106 bus runs through the center of Radnor Township via Lancaster Avenue, excluding a brief deviation along King of Prussia and Radnor-Chester Roads to service the Norristown High Speed Line's Radnor Station and Paoli/Thorndale Line's Radnor Station. The 106 serves the communities of Rosemont, Villanova, St. Davids, Radnor, and Wayne with westbound access to Paoli and eastbound access to the 69th Street Transportation Center in Upper Darby. The 105 bus formerly drove a route similar to that of the 106, but a 2016 schedule change moved the route's western terminus to Rosemont Station, on Montrose Avenue near the border of Radnor Township and Lower Merion Township. Since 2017, the route runs parallel to Radnor Township's border on Airedale Road, but never enters the township.

Major Highways

  • I-476
  • US 30
  • PA 320

Highways serving Radnor Township include U.S. Route 30, which passes east–west through the township on Lancaster Avenue (part of the historical Lincoln Highway), Pennsylvania Route 320, which passes north–south through the township along Sproul Road and Spring Mill Road; and Interstate 476, which passes north–south through the township on the Blue Route and has an interchange with US 30.

Healthcare

The corporate offices of Main Line Health are located in the Radnor Financial Center, as is the Thomas Jefferson University Marcus Institute clinic. In 2020, Penn Medicine opened a hospital next to the Blue Route called Penn Medicine Radnor.

Notable people

  • Jacob M. Appel, novelist, wrote Einstein's Beach House while living in Radnor
  • Jane Barkman, Olympian (attended Radnor High School)
  • David Brooks, journalist (attended Radnor High School)
  • Randal Kleiser, movie director (Grease, The Blue Lagoon), (graduated from Radnor High School, Class of 1964)
  • Thomas F. Wilson, actor (Biff in "Back to the Future")
  • Joshua Wurman, atmospheric scientist

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