Last night I watched a movie in which CIA agents were attempting to stop a terrorist attack. Clues led them to a barn in, dun dun dun… Pennsylvania. To which the most senior agent replied, “no one ever blows up Pennsylvania!”*
I immediately turned to my husband and said, “woo hoo! Best state ever!”
While I’ve lived in Pittsburgh since 1996, I’m originally from Doylestown, Bucks County, north of Philadelphia. All of my family still live in the area, and my family and I travel back there to visit often. Just two miles from my parents’ house is Fonthill Castle. During a recent Doylestown visit, my husband, my 7-year-old, my mother and I decided to visit the castle and take a guided tour.
Our guide, Heather, was fantastic. Some very quick history: Henry Mercer had a lot of interests, and is best known for two things. First, his collection of ordinary archeological items (housed at the Mercer Museum close by in Doylestown), and specifically handmade tools. Second, his tile manufacturing business, which made him a very rich man.
Mercer thought it would be just lovely to live in a big castle-like home. So, he enlisted the help of zero architects and zero professional construction workers, and instead hired 10 farmhands to help him build this enormous structure out of concrete. They made it up as they went along, and the result is an extraordinary labyrinth of narrow staircases and doorways, tiles everywhere, and doggy pawprints in the concrete.
Four years later, when they had finished, the people of Doylestown thought him insane and that this eyesore would make property values in Doylestown plummet. To celebrate, Mercer built a bonfire on the roof… unfortunately neglecting to notify anyone ahead of time, so several fire companies reported to find him dancing around drunk with his dog.
There were many more fascinating stories! I highly recommend a visit. I wish I could show photos of the inside, but photography is only permitted outside, so I traveled light and just brought my iphone for a few photos outside.
You can have weddings here! If you’re having a tiny wedding (36 or fewer guests for a seated dinner with no dance floor) there is an indoor space that can be rented year round. Exclusive caterer Memorable Affairs has a broad range of delectable menus for you to choose from.
Otherwise, from April to October, Fonthill offers a “seasonally permanent” tent with floor, carpeting, chandeliers, heating, dance floor and French doors.
I would LOVE to shoot a wedding here! While I’m in Pittsburgh, I am available to shoot in the Doylestown area, and no travel fees apply. If you’re getting married at Fonthill, contact me! Your wedding will surely result in beautiful photos and a memorable experience for you and your guests.
East Court Street & Route 313
Doylestown, PA 18901
215-674-1047, ext 1
* The senior agent was right. The Pennsylvania barn was just a staging area for an attack in, of course, New York City.
Christina Montemurro Photography specializes in photographing Pittsburgh weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs. Using a photojournalistic approach, Christina creates genuine, heartfelt, relaxed images, with extraordinary attention to detail and customer service. Contact Christina now to check availability for your engagement session, wedding, bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah. Christina has been rated among top Pittsburgh photographers. You can read reviews by Christina’s past brides and grooms here and here.
Christina is also available to shoot weddings in Bucks County, including Doylestown, Chalfont, New Hope, Yardley, Newtown, Warminster, Warrington, Bedminster and Pipersville.