Fonthill Castle, Doylestown, PA

Fonthill Castle was the home of the archaeologist and tile maker Henry Chapman Mercer. Built between 1908 and 1912, it is an early example of poured-in-place concrete and features 44 rooms, over 200 windows, 18 fireplaces, 10 bathrooms and one powder room. It is modeled after a 13th-century Rhenish castle, with Gothic doorways, 32 sudden stairways, dead ends and the 44 rooms are each in a different shape. It’s said that Harvard-educated Henry Chapman Mercer built his storybook stone mansion, with its turrets and balconies, from the inside out and without using blueprints.

The interior was originally painted in pastel colors, but age and sunlight have all but eradicated any hint of the former hues. One room in the Terrace Pavilion (built on the site of the former home’s barn), has a restored paint job so visitors can view the home’s former glory. The castle contains built-in furniture and is embellished with decorative tiles, made by Mercer at the height of the Arts and Crafts movement. The castle is filled with an extensive collection of ceramics embedded in the concrete of the house, as well as other artifacts from his world travels, including cuneiform tablets discovered in Mesopotamia dating back to over 2300 BCE. The home also contains around 1,000 prints from Mercer’s extensive collection, as well as over six thousand books, almost all of which were annotated by Mercer himself.

The Castle was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, and was later included in a National Historic Landmark District along with the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works and the Mercer Museum. These three structures are the only poured-in-place concrete structures built by Mercer. The Moravian Pottery and Tile Works is located on the same property as Fonthill Castle, and the Mercer Museum is located about a mile away.

Henry Chapman Mercer, an expert in prehistoric archaeology, a homespun architect and a writer of Gothic tales, built three memorable structures, including Fonthill Castle, the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works and the Mercer Museum. These historic attractions make up what’s now known as the Mercer Mile.  Each of the buildings was constructed with reinforced concrete using a technique perfected by Mercer in the early part of the 1900s.

Mercer’s collection of books, prints and Victorian engravings are preserved in this grand home, whose stark concrete exterior belies the ornate and eccentric style of the interior.

Interior pictures:

187 thoughts on “Fonthill Castle, Doylestown, PA

  1. Entire Article from RMX News: “Giorgia Meloni was not the right’s only big election winner this weekend, with the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) also seeing success by scoring 18.6 percent of the vote in state elections in Tyrol.

    The right-wing party overtook SPÖ, which only won 17.4 percent of the vote, to come in second place. The center-right ÖVP, which currently rules the country at the federal level in a coalition with the Greens, secured the first place result, with 34.7 percent of the vote, but saw its share drop 9.5 points. FPÖ’s top candidate, Markus Abwerzger, saw his vote total jump 3.3 points from 2018.

    ÖVP already ruled out a power-sharing agreement with FPÖ before the election, and will most likely join an alliance with SPÖ, despite a coalition with FPÖ resulting in more seats in the state parliament.

    The Greens fell from 10.7 percent to 9.2 percent, but also had the “Fritz List” overtake them to become the fourth-largest party in Tyrol. Voter turnout rose five points to 65 percent.

    The Alpine region in the west of Austria is home to 1.8 million people and features the capital city of Innsbruck.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Altho it’s not black/white, this cat’s body looks like Little Man’s – his head wasn’t actually that big but looked like it with his coloring – this is a Sand Cat:

    American Curl

    Egyptian Mau

    Kurilian Bobtail (Russia)

    Norwegian Forest Cat – King of the forest, these large and muscular cats represent one of less than twenty “natural breeds” that developed over hundreds of years on their own. The Norwegian Forest Cat, also known as the Skogkatt, is native to Scandinavia where they’ve adapted to live in harsh climates. These cats have dense undercoats with a medium-length, water-resistant coat over top and a long, flowing tail. They have large eyes and a triangle-shaped head.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh, what I wouldn’t give for one of these….

    Oncilla – Also known as the little spotted cat, Oncilla is a breed that we don’t know much about. Since they are excellent at hiding, scientists rarely get the chance to observe them. They still live and hide in Brazil and Argentina.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ibizan Hound
    #16 rarest breed (182/197)

    The Ibizan Hound is a tall sighthound from the dawn of civilization, bred as a rabbit courser on the rocky shores of Spain’s Balearic Islands. Art history students will recognize the elongated head, with its large erect ears, as a familiar motif of ancient Egypt.

    Cirneco dell’Etna
    #15 rarest breed (183/197)

    A sleek coursing hound of Sicily, the Cirneco dell’Etna is an ancient athletic hunter given to quick bursts of speed. Cirnechi are mild, low-maintenance companions and are cherished for their loyal and gentle nature. These antique dogs have sprinted into the 21st century relatively unchanged by passing fads and fancies.

    #12 rarest breed (186/197)

    The Komondor is a massive Hungarian flock guardian draped with profuse white cords from head to tail, making it one of the most distinctive breeds in the world. Koms can’t be mistaken for anything else thanks to their distinct appearance.

    Belgian Laekenois
    #4 rarest breed (194/197)

    The Belgian Laekenois is the rarest of the four closely related Belgian herders: the Belgian Sheepdog, Malinois, Tervuren, and Laekenois. Although observant with strangers, the breed is friendly and loving with those they know well.

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  5. EXCERPT: “A federal court in Texas is giving the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) until Friday to release the first batch of data on adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination collected by the agency via its V-safe app.

    The order by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas-Austin Division follows a series of lawsuits filed by the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN), an Austin-based nonprofit “focused on the scientific integrity of vaccines and [the] pharmaceutical industry.”

    According to ICAN, the court order requires the CDC to release the first batch of 19 months’ worth of data collected from millions of participants who reported adverse events related to COVID-19 vaccination via the V-safe app between Dec. 14, 2020, and July 31, 2022.

    In all, the CDC will be required to release more than 137 million health V-safe entries.

    The CDC describes V-safe as a smartphone app that “provides personalized and confidential check-ins via text messages and web surveys,” enabling users to “quickly and easily share with CDC how you, or your dependent, feel after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.”

    According to the CDC, “This information helps CDC monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in near real time,” adding that the purpose of the V-safe app “is to rapidly characterize the safety profile of COVID-19 vaccines when given outside a clinical trial setting.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Remarkably Honest Atlantic Mag Bit on Bannon. I’m surprised the increasingly far-left rag printed this.

    Raheem Kassam
    32 min ago

    Well, at least one Atlantic magazine reader seems to get it. Well, two, if you count me. Yes, as many of you know, I read and watch as much of the liberal media as I can, so you don’t have to. Nosce hostem and all that. Speaking of which I’m currently speeding my way through Jared Kushner’s self-hagiography. I refuse to call it an autobiography. But there’s got to be a better word that self-hagiography too. I submit: onanography.

    Anyway, Kushner’s book is surprisingly interesting. And so was this letter in this October’s Atlantic magazine, courtesy of one Mr. Morey of Malta, referring to the predictable yawnucopia about Bannon in June’s issue:

    ‘Jennifer Senior’s loathing of Steve Bannon comes through loud and clear. It’s a pity that her analysis of his appeal falls short. Why are Bannon’s ideas so apparently influential that they translate into a surge of Republican and even Trumpian support? The Hillary Clinton answer, that these supporters are all “deplorables”—idiots and puppets being manipulated by a master—doesn’t wash, as it didn’t for Clinton in 2016. A sensible and humble starting position would be that the priorities and policies of the liberal establishment don’t resonate with large swaths of ordinary Americans, who therefore don’t trust politicians who are mouthpieces of that establishment. Rather than rail against the malign influence of Bannon and his ilk, would-be future leaders of America should ask themselves how they lost the hearts and minds of so many of those they expect to put them in power. Is there any Democrat, or moderate Republican, who has the courage to do that?’

    Chris Morey
    Marsaskala, Malta

    Maybe they’re starting to figure this whole thing out? And maybe that’s what the Ursula von der Leyen’s wicked attempt at election interference was really about, this past week?

    If enough Chris Moreys (I submit: Mories) emerge, maybe the left starts holding their communal nose (they’d love that) and voting against their instincts in order to punish the authoritarian left in long term favour of the more traditional liberals they still convince themselves they’re really voting for. A new wave of Animal Farm-esque infighting? (I’d love that).

    Only onanists don’t share.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, LM showed up out in front – I poured some food out for him, petted him a little bit, and he was apparently pretty hungry – he went right to eating. Jake, of course, is growling inside. LOL – no injuries that I could see.

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      1. you too!!
        I got some maintenance things to do yet.
        I think i will try closing comments on opens older than 30 days…to see if that spam stops. let me know if you still see any. there are other things to try.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I am adding a short daily prayer to the board. I would invite each of you, if you wish, to also add one or maybe two of your own liking. I do not want to stifle anyone but please limit yourself to one or two religious postings. here’s one I found that I liked.


    1. OMG!!!
      that took amazing patience…I would be nibbling at the way thru…mine would probably be a worm coming out of a thimble when i was done…LOL


    1. wow! i have about 20 pairs of scissors in the house…mostly Fiskars. but i have a WH Morley & Sons one from Germany my mom gave me, and several other small ones that were my mother-in-laws (she quilted). but fascinating to see how a good pair is made!


  9. Well this isn’t a bad garbage find today.

    Hot Wheels Ultimate Ford Complex (2001) Toy Car Playset

    Plus a chair and a shovel

    Found these little fish

    wine stoppers

    2 beer glasses

    A real deer…. LOL ok they were looking on.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m intrigued by all the nooks and crannies…the English muffin of castles if you will.
          how are you ok after being attacked by your chair??


          1. Yeah, I did a little ibuprofen that night and the next day, and was fine after that. I was probably fortunate that it bounced me off the desk, because if it had thrown me directly on the ground I might have sustained serious injury — instead of a plethora of minor injuries.

            I ended up scrubbing my plans for the next day and going to IKEA to score a replacement (which I am sitting on). Then, of course, I had to build it…..

            This meant that I had to scrub everything and do financial stuff today. Which means I’ll do network stuff tomorrow — we had a power failure and surge that busted the AC (got that fixed immediately) and made the network perform poorly (still needs fixed). Always tons o’ fun at Casa de Cthulhu.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. glad you’re okay! the prat falls always look funny in the movies, but they can be devastating in real life!
              at least you can fix things!!!
              stay safe!!


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