Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Behind the Castle Walls

I finally had a chance to get behind the castle walls!

(Photo taken previously.)

I have wished for this day for a decade. 
So when St. Mary's Villa in Ambler, PA 
announced the first open house in 10 years 
I signed up immediately. 
The castle typically has 'No Trespassing' signs.

Here is an after (left) and before (right) of the castle
found on a second story wall.

In 1879 the home was built as a Queen Anne Gothic Mansion.
(Which I prefer over the remodel!)
In 1901 Dr. Richard V. Mattison
remodeled the property to resemble
Windsor Castle in England.
He named the property Lindenwold.

Upon entering the castle
you are greeted with beautiful hand carved woodwork
imported from Germany.
It kind of reminds me of the woodwork
on some cuckoo clocks I've seen.

Immediately to your right
is the formal parlor
containing one of two marble fireplaces in the home.

And in one of the window alcoves a piano...
if I were a child I think this location would motivate me to practice!

Although this room was redone by St Mary's
it retains the look and feel of the original decor.

Behind the formal parlor is the library
which retains much of the original Spanish style decor.

Opposite the front door and down the hall is the dining room.
The dining room windows are made of stained glass
featuring Victorian women.

There is a beautiful staircase that takes you to the second floor
with a stained glass window added by St. Mary's.

My favorite room is at the top of the stairs.
It is the sitting room...and I could sit here for hours!

The afternoon light made this room beautiful!

The sitting room connects to several other rooms around it.

This completes the first two floors,
but there are two more floors above that I wish could be explored!
Maybe sometime in the future.

Dr. Richard Mattison and his business partner Mr. Henry Keasbey 
made their business in medicines 
until Mattison discovered asbestos 
which was sold for use in building supplies. 
We all know the danger of asbestos now,
and as a result of asbestos manufacturing, Ambler was left with a Superfund site . 
Keasbey & Mattison remained in business until the Great Depression 
when their business was sold to Turner, Newhall Ltd. in 1934. 
Dr. Mattison died in 1936.

 Lindenwold Castle was acquired by St. Mary's Villa in 1936
in order to expand their services as an orphanage for boys.

For older images from the Library of Congress, click here.

2019 Update: 
The property has been sold 
and to date only the gatehouses and castle remain. 
The property is to be developed 
with lots of homes. 
So sad. 


Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks!! I've always wanted to visit, it's so inviting as you drive by. I wasn't aware of the 'remodel' that's pretty amazing!

Kathy said...

Go glad you got to go so you could share it with us.

Jama said...

It's a very gorgeous palace! I'm glad they had an open house for you to photograph it's beauty and share them here.

Nicolle Howard said...

Wow what amazing photos. Never had the opportunity to visit a castle. Perhaps someday...

Ellie said...

What a very beautiful castle inside and out. I love all of the woodwork. Thank you for sharing.

Tamar SB said...

I've heard all about his amazing place - your pictures are just stunning!! I felt like I was there!

Tamar - also linking up with Deb!

tinajo said...

Amazing details - very cool! :-)

Yuè said...

very awesome shots and a wonderful place

Gina Kleinworth said...

WOW- what a place. I could just blow through a whole memory card in there.

Unknown said...

Wow, thanks for the tour! I love all the unique architectural details.

Chrissy Brand said...

Whoah, what a fine post! I thought it looked very English castle-like and then realised why- what a gem...

Chrissy at Manchester: a photo a day at Mancunian Wave

and DX International radio blog

patty said...

very interesting! love the old paquet floors! (seen in image under piano)

lucky you to not only visit but to also be able to photograph... great photos!

visiting from deb's!


deb duty said...

What a treat to get to see the inside! I enjoyed your wonderful photos! We just toured an old plantation home last weekend that I'll be posting about soon.

Unknown said...

I was lucky to have lived in the castle. I am saddened that it is for sale. The sisters took great care of me and my siblings. I will miss the property and the memories dearly.