A half hour's drive from Philadelphia lies Glencairn Museum, an impressive structure completed in 1939 as a home and castle to house the collection of medieval objects owned by attorney, Raymond Pitcairn, and his wife, Mildred.
Glencairn now serves as a museum of religious art and history. Pitcairn’s collection of medieval stained glass and sculpture is considered to be one of the country's finest. In addition to medieval objects, the vast rooms of the castle contain ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman relics along with Islamic, Asian and American Indian articles.
Things to Do
- Admire the medieval stained glass and sculptures, described as some of the finest in the nation.
- Take the guided tour - rooms on the tour include the chapel, the Great Hall, the library, the master bedroom and adjoining master bathroom. Arguably, the highlight of the tour is the view from the top of the tower. Visitors should be advised that to get there you must take a brief elevator ride. The elevator is small, necessitating multiple trips if the tour group is large. (Those who are claustrophobic may have difficulty here.)
- Appreciate the unique, superb handling of stone, wood, glass and metal. Visitors will notice that creations are all governed by the distinctive symbolism of the New Church.
- From the tower, take in the view of the Philadelphia skyline. The vista at the top of the tower is breath-taking, and guests take in a 360-degree view of the surrounding area, complete with the city of Philadelphia in the distance.
Glencairn Museum Insider Tips
- Make an appointment to visit the museum from Monday to Friday or take a self-guided tour Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
- There is an elevator to use if walking up and down stairs is a problem.
- There is no A/C, but they do hand out fans during the summer months, which is helpful.
- There are occasional closings due to public and private events. It's a good idea to check the website or call267.502.2600 before your visit to see if there are any closings.