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Fonthill Castle

Fonthill Castle is located in Doylestown Pennsylvania. It was built in 1912 by Henry Chapman Mercer who was an entrepreneur in a wide variety of fields. But in particular his expertise was in something called Moravian Pottery and tiles. He developed a new method of making them and built a factory right here on the same grounds as the castle.

 

This castle is part of three distinct things all attributed to Mercer. First there is the Mercer Museum, Then this castle and third there is the Moravian Potter which is still in operation.

The Castle and the Pottery are open to the public with guided tours but on a schedule so be sure to check the website before you visit.

Check out the Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle website here

About visiting the castle. It is a great visit just be sure to check the website for tour availability. You can't walk around the inside of the castle without being on a tour. And there is a lot of interesting stuff inside including lots and lots of custom tile work. And while you visit the castle it is an easy walk of maybe 200 yards over to the Moravian pottery factory where you can buy tiles or take a tour of the factory and see how it is made. Not far from this location, albeit you have to drive, is the Mercer Museum.

I have pictures of the outside of the Pottery factory and some of the tiles for sale right here: The Moravian Pottery.

 

This next picture is a view of the front of the castle but from a side view. And in the distance you can see the carriage house building.

This next picture is of the carriage house.

The buildings are made of reinforced poured concrete which today is pretty common. This is a cast in place process with the concrete. But 100 years ago it was revolutionary and new.

 

Henry Chapman Mercer and the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works

Henry Chapman Mercer (1856-1930) was one of the leading figures of the Arts and Crafts Movement in America. His unique ceramic murals, pavings, and sculptural reliefs were of great importance to the reform of architectural decoration early in the twentieth century.

This book documents all of Mercer's catalogued tile designs as well as his art pottery and the subjects of his major themes. The bibliography includes all of Mercer's publications in his several fields of interest and comprehensive lists of the literature about him, his work, and the ceramic art of his times.

 

Fonthill : The Home of Henry Chapman Mercer --
An American Architectural Treasure in Historic Bucks County, Pennsylvania

This book provides a fascinating look at the unique home and creative genius of Henry Chapman Mercer. In 1908, renowned tile maker Henry Chapman Mercer, a key figure in the Arts and Crafts Movement in the U.S., turned his genius and artistic talents to planning and constructing Fonthill, a "castle in concrete." Fonthill served as Mercer's residence and a personal museum for his decorative tiles, prints and artifacts from 1912 until he died in 1930. More than 100 pages of text, abundant photography, and previously unpublished illustrations, sketches and comments from Mercer's own construction notebook, give readers a wonderful appreciation for Fonthill and Henry Mercer. Twenty color photographs (of 56 total) combine with architectural cross sections for each level of Fonthill to highlight the innovative design, artistic detail and decorative tile work that comprise this American architectural treasure. This book shows why Fonthill, one of the best late-Romantic buildings in America, has been designated a National Historic Landmark and featured on television in an award-winning episode of "America's Castles."