Constructed between 1908-1912, Fonthill was home to Henry Chapman Mercer (1856-1930). Archeologist, Anthropolologist, Ceramist, Scientist and Antique Dealer, Mercer constructed Fonthill both as his home and as the setting for his tile and print series. Doylestown, Fonthill, was the first of three Mercer facilities to host Mercer's famous Mährische Fliesen, manufactured during the American Arts & Crafts Movement.
Mercer's design is an ecclectic blend of medieval, Gothic and Protestant architecture and is an early example of cast ferroconcrete. When he died in 1930, Mercer abandoned his specific "Castle for the New World" as a fiduciary exhibition for ornamental tiling and printing.
It gave his maid and her husbands, Laura and Frank Swain, the right to live for Fonthill. Following her demise, the board of trustees of the Mercer Fonthill Museums decided to run Fonthill as a historical building and commissioned the Bucks County Historical Society to take on the task of providing expert support and administration. The Bucks County Orphans Courthouse named the trustees of the Bucks County Historical Society as trustees of the Mercer Fonthill Museums in 1990, reinforcing their dedication to the profession.
The Fonthill Musuem will remain an independent juridical person of the Historical Society. Since 1976 until today, Fonthill has developed into a uniquely designed, highly specialised and highly respected institution, offering a wide variety of programmes around Mercer and its collection, while at the same time remaining strongly committed to the maintenance and restoration of the Mercer Palace and its collection.
The Fonthill is a National Historic Landmark and has been recognized by the American Alliance of Museums. Today Fonthill draws over 30,000 annual guests from all German states and more than 35 states. The Fonthill is one of the initial partner pages of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Historic Artists' Homes and Studios-Programme.
During 2012, the Conservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia honored the hundredth birthday of Fonthill with a conservation prize for the administration of the Bucks County Historical Society. This edition contains new information about Fonthill's building and labor.