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Fonthill Castle

Henry Mercer’s concrete castle is an American treasure

Fonthill Museum

Exterior of Fonthill Castle. Credit: B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

Description

The Experience

Harvard-educated Henry Chapman Mercer built his storybook stone mansion with its turrets and balconies from the inside out, without using blueprints. Modeled after a 13th-century Rhenish castle, it has Gothic doorways, 32 sudden stairways, dead ends and 44 rooms, each in a different shape.

The ceilings and walls are embedded with handcrafted tiles from Mercer’s kilns at the adjacent Moravian Pottery and Tile Works, along with ancient tiles from around the world. His collection of books, prints and Victorian engravings are preserved in this 1910 home, whose stark concrete exterior belies the ornate eccentric style of the interior. Fonthill, an American architectural treasure, was recently featured on the A&E program “America’s Castles.”

History

Mercer, an expert in prehistoric archaeology, a homespun architect and a writer of Gothic tales, built three memorable structures, including Fonthill, the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works and the Mercer Museum, on what’s now known as the Mercer Mile. All were constructed with reinforced concrete, using a technique perfected by Mercer in the early part of the 1900s.

Fonthill Castle’s Old-Fashioned Fourth of July

Date: July 4, 2017
Experience a day of old-fashioned, patriotic fun on the grounds of the castle. Try your hand at a host of games like tug-o-war, watermelon eating, sack races and bucket brigade relays. Be sure to catch the Children’s Decorated Bike Parade, which kicks off the event.

For more information on Fonthill Castle’s Old-Fashioned Fourth of July, click the button below.

More on Fonthill Castle’s Old-Fashioned Fourth of July

Fonthill Castle Beer Fest

Date: August 26, 2017
Enjoy a daytime beer extravaganza in the beautiful outdoor setting of Fonthill Castle. Sample high quality drafts from more than 20 local and regional breweries paired with light fare.

For more information on Fonthill Castle Beer Fest, click the button below.

More on Fonthill Castle Beer Fest

More Information

Open daily for guided tours only.

Reservations are required.

Insider Tip

Tiles, tiles and more tiles: Mercer didn’t skimp on decorating his 44-room mansion with his own company’s handiwork.

Great Kids’ Stuff

Fonthill’s 200 windows, each in a different size and shape, are fun to look at and out of. Many, of course, are studded with Mercer’s colorful tiles.

For more information, click the button below.

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Details

525 E. Court Street Doylestown, PA 18901
(215) 348–9461
Website

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