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I decided to take a road trip out to Pennsylvania. I love architecture, so I Googled cool places to visit in Bucks County. It brought up Fonthill Castle and Mercer Museum. From the photos listed from visitors, I had to visit. We went to Fonthill Castle in January. Fonthill Castle is located at: 525 E Court St, Doylestown, PA 18901. For admission and hours, please visit their website https://www.mercermuseum.org/visit/fonthill-castle/
Our tour guide was amazing. He couldn’t stress enough to stay with the group. Fonthill gave me a Count Dracula feel to it. You drive down this long driveway to a grey stoned building. Some rooms were dark and dreary. I thought about how it was a night to walk around the castle. Fonthill was built of concrete between 1908 and 1912. The castle has 44 rooms, 10 bathrooms, and more than 30 staircases.
Fonthill was the private home Henry Mercer an archaeologist, historian, and tile maker, among other titles he held. The castle contains built-in furniture with decorative tiles, made by Mercer. Fonthill is filled with a collection of ceramics embedded in the concrete of the house, as well as other artifacts from his travels from around the world.
Mr. Mercer recognized all the men who helped build Fonthill by including their names somewhere on the walls and ceilings of the castle. You can even see his dog’s footprints in the concrete. We spent over three hours at the castle. It felt like a maze, going up and down stairs leading you into rooms and offices. The tiles and decorations covered the walls and ceilings. I closed my eyes at one time to imagine living here during this time. I love home with big windows, the day we visited it was sunny. The sun gazed into the rooms so beautifully.
I found myself gazing out into the window and drifting off once again. I took my daughter and her friend and we were too tired to head over to Mercer Museum which is less than a ten minute ride. If you’re in the area or looking for an exciting place to visit, Fonthill is the place to come. I would recommend dressing accordingly during the seasons. It will be either hot or cold and wear comfortable walking shoes.
Fonthill Castle was amazing, but Mercer Museum took it to the next level
Mercer Museum is located at 84 S Pine St, Doylestown, PA 18901. Please visit their website for hours of operation and admission price https://www.mercermuseum.org/
The reason Henry Mercer used concrete in his buildings was due to the Great Boston Fire of 1872. The fire destroyed his aunt’s prized collection of medieval armor, which had been stored in wooden structures. He had valuable collections that he didn’t want to lose in case of a fire to his property.
From looking outside, you wouldn’t believe the museum had six floors. We traveled up and down the stairs like a maze, as we did at Fonthill Castle. There is a huge collection of antique items from the past. Each corner and wall covered an artifact from history. The museum has a research library that is a center for local history related to Bucks County. We walked through the narrow passages to see what our next exhibit would be. I talked about Fonthill Castle reminding me of Dracula, well there was a Vampire Tool Kit. It’s said that it’s fake, but I don’t know.
My daughter is is eight, she enjoyed the museum as well. I think it was the furniture hanging on the ceiling that added curiosity to her visit. My favorite part of the museum, is when I entered the room that showed Women’s Rights and their part during history. It put a smile on my face for Henry Mercer to show the importance of women.
Fonthill Castle and Mercer Museum are both a must see if you’re looking to step back into time and love architecture. I highly recommend coming to visit. Due to COVID, you must purchase tickets online and masks are required.