Richard Stockton, the son of the Signer, known as the Duke, made many changes around 1790 to 1800. He rebuilt the central section of the house and covered the building's brickwork with a white lime wash. In the 18th and early 19th century, there were no foundation plantings. The present plantings and trees in front of the house, as well as the small hillock, represent the landscape created by his son, the Commodore, in the mid-19th century.
Archaeology has shown that in the 18th century one of the main entries to the house went straight from Stockton Street to the front door. The Duke laid out the present horseshoe-shaped drive; at the same time he built a paved forecourt in front of the house. In his day a symmetrical landscape plan would have been favored, in contrast to the picturesque, irregular design applied to the front plantings by the Commodore.
The landscaping was always intended to impress visitors as they passed on the road or approached the house.