VISITING FONTHILL CASTLE
In fall you do fall-things, or so I've been told. As daylight dwindles it's important to enjoy all those falling leaves and scenic views you hear people talk of. In our (Ryan & myself) case that involves weekend drives out of the city where there are actually trees and views to devour. On a recent trip we visited Foothill Castle, a rather stately home in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. A home so happily situated you would have thought the hills and woods had grown up around it and not the other way around.
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Bult in the early 20th Century by Henry Mercer, Foothill Castle is a tribute to his life-long obsession with European castles, and his work in tile making (click the arrows above to see more photos of the grounds). Built from poured concrete, Mercer attacked the design on his own, without thought to floor-plan or traditional construction. Builders were tasked with making sense of his cryptic drawings and the result is a labyrinth of a home with 44 rooms and 200+ windows.
A majority of the furniture is built-in and generously covered in Mercer's tile collection. Sadly, they don't let you take photos inside, but to give you a taste- His collection is a mix of ancient tiles from the Middle East and Asia, Dutch tiles from several centuries, and his own handmade tiles from the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works. Every inch of the house is decorated in a different motif, with rooms named and situated to allow maximum light.
Entirely intact, a tour through the house is like stepping back in time. Around every corner and false staircase you expect to meet Mercer's ghost! Oddly, the eccentric contents only serve to make the castle more warm and inviting to its guests. If you're ever in the area, be sure to stop in for a visit! What autumn things have you checked off your list this year? - b.