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Fonthill, Doylestown

4.7
#1 of 8 in Historic Sites in Bucks County
Fonthill, Mercer Museum and Moravian Pottery and Tile Works is a National Historic Landmark District located at Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. It consists of three properties built by Henry Chapman Mercer (1856-1930) in a distinctive application of the principles of the Arts and Crafts movement, which are also notable for the early use of poured concrete: Fonthill, the Mercer Museum, and the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. All three are now museum properties of the Bucks County Historical Society. The landmark designation for the group was made in 1985; each property is also individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places.BackgroundHenry Chapman Mercer was a native of Doylestown, who was educated as a lawyer. He never practiced law formally, and eventually landed a job as a curator at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. Concerned about the rise of industrialization, he began collecting hand-made artifacts and implements of American life and industry, and also investigated Germany pottery and tile-making techniques. Influenced by the rising Arts and Crafts Movement, he founded the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in his hometown in 1898. Its tiles met with great success, and have been widely used in the United States. In 1907 he began construction of Fonthill, one of the earliest uses of reinforced poured concrete in the United States. Mercer designed it, as well as the current Mercer Museum, using an organic process. Both of those buildings, as well as the current surviving tile works building, use poured reinforced concrete as the primary building material.
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Fonthill Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
381 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • My husband and I were in Doylestown for the day and decided to book a tour at Fonthill. It was very interesting learning the history of Henry Mercer, and all of the tile work was incredible! Our guide...  more »
  • It was wonderful and our guide was very knowledgeable and pleasant. So many books and artifacts and the tiles were spectacular. It was as if you had stepped back in time. An amazing place for both adu...  more »
  • 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 »
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