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Fonthill, Doylestown

4.6
#1 of 8 in Historic Sites in Bucks County
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, 10 bathrooms and one powder room. 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, 10 bathrooms and one powder room. The interior was originally painted in pastel colors, but age and sunlight have all but eradicated any hint of the former hues. One room in the Terrace Pavilion (built on the site of the former home's barn), has a restored paint job so visitors can view the home's former glory. The castle-home 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.
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Fonthill Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
379 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Great guided tour. Very unusual decor and many one of a kind tiles in the castle. History told by our guide was enlightening. The owner, architect, builder was an unusual person. Not to be missed if y...  more »
  • We recently had our family pictures taken at Fonthill. All kinds of interesting spots for posing, whether it is on the grounds or along some of the steps or archways. Love the old buildings. We have b...  more »
  • Only guided tours are allowed because there are 44 rooms and 30+ staircases. We didn't book in advance as we didn't know our arrival time - it was a bit hard to get a tour because of this. If possible...  more »
Google
  • I used to live in Bucks County and toured here several times. Each tour was slightly different. I live in TX now and came home to Hershey. I took my family to Bucks County specifically to come to Fonthill. We were not disappointed. The castle was fascinating and the tour guide was excellent. She could answer all questions too.
  • It really is a cool place. It's a late 1800's castle built by an eccentric rich guy. They give tours. Check the website for times. Worth it.
  • Great old poured concrete castle in Doylestown. Full of the original furnishings and art work, you can make a reservation for a tour, or walk around the wooded grounds.
  • Interesting, and so much to look at inside. The grounds are also beautiful. However, no photos allowed inside, which is kind of disappointing. There are many stairs to climb on the tour so you must be able to deal with stairs. However, there are never more than a few at a time so there are many breaks in between climbing stairs.
  • Beautiful property, and the tour of the castle was a lot of fun. Great day trip if you live in the area!

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