Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fonthill Castle and Moravian Tile Works

Phew, I am getting behind here.  This field trip was from a couple of weeks ago now but better late then never I suppose.

About a month ago we visited the Mercer Museum in Doylestown which housed the extensive collection of Henry Mercer's historical artifacts.  This time we visited his home, Fonthill, and the Moravian Tile Works next door.  No pictures were allowed to be taken inside Fonthill castle which was just a tad disappointing as it is my favorite of the three museums.  The man was eccentric.  I mean anyone who would build himself a castle made entirely of concrete and then "decorate" it the way he did with tiles covering the walls, ceiling and floor depicting biblical and historical scenes isn't exactly normal.  He also owned over 6,000 books and they know that he read every single one of them because there were notes in every book in his handwriting in his library.
This is the only picture I got of the castle since no inside pictures were allowed.  You will have to go see it for yourself.

The kids in our group were able to have a class on Babylonian tablets and cuneiform writing.  I think they have a better appreciation for paper and modern writing now.  Just writing their name in cuneiform was quite the process.

After the class we went next door to the Moravian Tile Works, the factory where all of Mercer's tiles were hand made.  This is a very intriguing building as well, built entirely of concrete in the Spanish mission style.

They still employ 6 full time staff who complete the whole tile making process by hand utilizing the same methods as they did in Henry Mercer's day.

The staff were very friendly and informative and loved answering questions.  This guy even let one of the boys try pressing a tile for himself.  You do not need to be in a group to visit this museum so you can go any time and visit for a small admission fee.

Look at me, I wrote a whole post without posting one single cute baby picture of Claire!  For shame.  Soon, I promise.

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