West Bradford Township, originally part of Bradford Township, was organized in 1705 and divided into East and West Bradford in 1731.
Bradford's earliest settlers were English Quakers, most having acquired large tracts of land by patent, which subsequently were divided into farms of a hundred or more acres. Settlement initially occurred near the streams. Abraham Marshall settled along the West Branch of the Brandywine Creek at Northbrook circa 1707 and James Trimble settled along the Broad Run during the 1730's. Quaker meetings were held in homes in West Bradford as early as 1719, with the first Bradford Friends meeting house erected on Marshall's farm in the 1720's. It was later moved to Marshallton around 1730.
Agriculture played a formative role in West Bradford's history. It had a significant impact on both the historical landscape and types of structures built. The villages of Marshallton, Romansville and Trimblesville did not expand greatly into the countryside as of the mid 1800's, reflecting the continued strength of the prevailing agricultural economy.
West Bradford has also exhibited a strong tradition of cottage industries with blacksmiths, wheelwrights, joiners, coopers, pump makers, tinsmiths, shoemakers, and cigar makers at work both on the farmsteads and in the villages. Because of the significance of West Bradford's water resources, milling was also very important in the Township's development. Numerous tanning, grist, saw, and fulling mill sites stood along the Broad Run and the East and West Branches of the Brandywine.
The construction of Strasburg Road in the 1790's spurred the growth of the Township's two key villages, Romansville and Marshallton. Although Strasburg Road had existed as a route west since the mid 1700's, its improvement, combined with the nation's post-Revolution expansion, led to its emergence as a heavily-traveled route west. Marshallton, which had existed as a sizeable crossroad village since around 1760, responded to the increase in traffic by building inns, shops, stores, and houses along the road. Romansville developed about 1800 around the blacksmith shop operated by John Romans.
The Township has eight structures and three historic districts - Marshallton, Trimblesville, and Northbrook - on the National Register of Historic Places.