Categories: Castles, Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Fonthill, also known as Fonthill Castle, was the home of the American archeologist and tile maker Henry Chapman Mercer, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Built between 1908 and 1912, it is an early example of poured-in-place concrete and features 44 rooms, over 200 windows, 18 fireplaces and 10 bathrooms. The home was individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.HistoryFonthill was the home of the archeologist and tile maker Henry Chapman Mercer. Built between 1908 and 1912, it is an early example of poured-in-place concrete and features 44 rooms, over 200 windows, 18 fireplaces and 10 bathrooms. The interior was originally painted in pastel colors, but age and sunlight have all but eradicated any hint of the former hues. It contains much built-in furniture and is embellished with decorative tiles that Mercer made at the height of the Arts and Crafts movement. It is filled with an extensive collection of ceramics embedded in the concrete of the house, as well as other artifacts from his world travels, including cuneiform tablets discovered in Mesopotamia dating back to over 2300 BCE. The home also contains around 1,000 prints from Mercer's extensive collection, as well as over six thousand books, almost all of which were annotated by Mercer himself.The home was individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, and was later included in a National Historic Landmark District along with the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works and the Mercer Museum. These three structures are the only poured-in-place concrete structures built by Mercer. The Moravian Pottery and Tile Works is located on the same property as Fontill, and the Mercer Museum is located approximately one mile away. Water and pollution have caused damage to all of the structures, none more so than at Fonthill, where replacement of damaged windowsills is almost an annual event.Make Fonthill a centerpiece of your Doylestown vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Doylestown itinerary builder.
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Wow. Lived in the area for nine years and I finally made it to Fonthill Castle. The castle is unlike any I have seen on my travels through Europe. No fancy woodwork nor gilded in gold. The design and ... read more »
my husband, children and i have visited Foothill Castle many times over the years. it is almost too special a place to put into words. it was built in 1908 and 1912 entirely of hand-mixed concrete. th... read more »
The only thing keeping me from giving this 5 stars is thay you aren't allowed to take pictures inside the house...unless you pay a $40 permit fee!?!?! To tour the house is 14 dollars and it is well wo... read more »
Not even remotely worth the ticket price. Between the museum and castle, it's expensive to see someone else's collection of unmarked, unlabeled turn of the century clutter. The tile is ugly and looks like it was made with a play doh fun factory so, if you're not into that, don't waste your money. The only thing I was hoping for was to maybe get some photos of the interesting architecture of the castle itself but guess what? No photos allowed! Super pretentious. It was my least favorite place in all of PA.
I did not tour Fonthill just because they wanted to charge you $40 for a permit to take photographs. I felt the admission charge was fair...we have been touring many castles and old mansions...many larger than this one... in upstate New York this month and the admission fee was right in line...but not one of them tried to charge us to take photos. The funny thing is I found out about Mr. Mercer, his museum and tile factory from PHOTOS a friend posted on Facebook!
Good experience, however, pricey photo permits being required for non-commercial photography is NOT the way to increase popularity. Quite the opposite. Casual photographers using your grounds is free media content and publicity, it's absolutely what you want...
Loved going here as a kid and love taking people from out of town here and to the Michener Art Museum.
Been there several times over the years. amazing place that I highly recommend to anyone within driving distance.
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