Fonthill Castle

Earlier this year I had an opportunity to photograph Fonthill Castle, located in Doylestown, Pennslyvania.  It is a truly amazing place.  Built by Henry Chapman Mercer between 1908 and 1912, Fonthill stands today as a shrine to this eccentric archaeologist who died in 1930.  The building has been well preserved and still contains many artifacts from his numerous, worldwide archaeological expeditions as well as many rare books and artwork.  Fonthill Castle is a treasure trove.

Whenever I visit a new location I need to acclimatize and get a feeling for the place before I start photographing.  Although I usually do some research to help me develop visual ideas, it isn’t until I actually get a feeling for a place that I start to visualize the final images, at which point I start composing and photographing.  This trip was a bit challenging though.  Fonthill Castle is part of a private estate and to make sure everyone in our group had plenty of time we were escorted through the building, moving fairly quickly from room to room.  Combine this with the fact that there is just so much to see it can be a little overwhelming.  I work slowly, but taking the amount of time I normally do when trying to acclimatize would mean that I would miss many opportunities.  Therefore, rather than trying to get a sense of the place I decided to just let my imagination take control of my feelings.  The images that accompany this post are from that trip.

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  1. I understand being overwhelmed at Fonthill Arthur. I believe it took me till my 6th visit to finally get images that resonated. That said, you have done a stellar job for your first trip. FYI, if I did not click on an image to make it bigger I would not have known some of them were not showing in their full format.

  2. Ding! I was on my completely “bestest” behavior but was still being gently prodded to keep-up. Twice I found a scene so captivating that I couldn’t comply with the docent’s instructions to move on. Each time after a few moments I noticed you standing there also. Just too much for one visit.

    Fabulous place (thank you JB) and wonderful images Arthur.

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