Centuries of religious artifacts in a modern castle
It is hard to beat the setting of Glencairn, a neo-Romanesque castle situated amid the rolling hills of Montgomery County. Inside is a museum that focuses on the history of religion. The massive rooms do not overwhelm the collection, which includes numerous Roman, Greek and medieval religious objects as well as art and artifacts from ancient Egyptian, Native American and Islamic cultures – all displayed in one or another of Glencairn’s former bedrooms.
Studded throughout Raymond Pitcairn’s former home is his array of stained glass; some was designed for the house, but more than a dozen pieces date back to the Middle Ages. Glencairn’s furnishings are eclectic, and there are surprises at every turn, including ceiling mosaics and a cloister garden.
During the Depression, Raymond Pitcairn, an attorney and scion of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company fortune, built his dream house, a castle whose tower rises to nine stories above the Montgomery County countryside. Pitcairn was a religious man, a member of The Church of the New Jerusalem, which is on adjacent land, and his collection spans many faiths and centuries.
Open Mon – Fri by appointment, Saturday self-guided tours from 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Saturday Highlight Tours leave every Saturday at 11:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.
See the family’s private chapel, with its custom-made ceiling mosaic and stained glass windows.
Some Kids’ stuff
Take the octagonal elevator to the Glencairn tower and see all the way to the Philadelphia skyline.