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The Patriot Newspaper

The Patriot Newspaper

Fonthill Castle and its Beloved Home: Doylestown


Fonthill Castle—the historical gem standing tall over the beloved town of Doylestown. The iconic photoshoot setting and most unique building in the town… how could anyone not know about Fonthill. Yet somehow, after fifteen years in this town, I had never been inside—until this Thanksgiving break.

When my grandma from the Netherlands visited this Thanksgiving, I wondered how I could show someone from the rich culture of Amsterdam what a small town in Pennsylvania has to offer. So, I turned to Doylestown’s pride and joy, Fonthill. I originally told her we could walk around the vast property of Fonthill (70 acres!) and admire the castle’s presence, but we could not go inside.

After an enjoyable walk by the property, my grandma asked why we were not entering the castle. And truthfully, I did not know. I knew I had not been inside, but for some reason, I had never considered going in. Reluctantly, I signed us up for the 11:30 am Saturday tour.

At the start, I felt a bit odd learning about my own hometown like a tourist, but I brushed the feeling off. After a million guesses, I could not have merely estimated what the inside would look like. Each ceiling was magnificently decorated with hand-created clay pieces from Henry Mercer, the owner of the castle. His handmade tiles decorated floors, walls, and ceilings. I simply could not conceptualize that humans created this castle from concrete and clay. Historical artifacts dating back to 5000 BC, unique dragon moldings from Chinese missionaries—priceless pieces in a beautiful castle, right in the small, humble town of Doylestown.

After a day out in Fonthill and town, my grandma and I headed home. As we walked into the house, she turned to me and said, “Wow Chantal, I really like Doylestown.”

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Chantal van Dongeren
Chantal van Dongeren, Editor-in-Chief

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