1001 Cathedral Rd.
Box 757
Bryn Athyn, PA 19009
(267) 502-2993 • 502-2990 (Saturdays 10:30am - 2:30pm)

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Built between 1928 and 1939, Glencairn, the home of Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn, was built using a building process unknown since the Middle Ages. Rather than a predesigned plan, scale and full-sized plaster models were used; the building evolved gradually, with frequent input from the craftsmen themselves.

Pitcairn's unique perspective can be seen in Glencairn's subtle departures from symmetry: angles are not always right angles and what appears to be a straight line may in fact be softly bowed. The overall effect is quite wonderful. Pitcairn supervised the building of Glencairn as well as the Bryn Athyn Cathedral. That he had no formal training in architecture is amazing.

Glencairn, though primarily a home, was also designed as a proper exhibition space for Pitcairn's magnificent collection of medieval objects, many of which had been purchased as inspirational models for the craftsmen at the Cathedral.

Today the building is maintained as both a center for cultural and social activities and a fine museum of medieval history and art.

The Great Hall houses many objects from the Pitcairn collection, some of which are actually built into the structure. The Bird Room is divided into recessed panels with a variety of birds in glass mosaic.

A Medieval Gallery showcases many exceptional examples of Gothic stained glass and Romanesque sculpture. The New Church Study Gallery exhibits works by artists associated with Swedenborgian religious thought.

The Far East and the American Indian are each the subject of their own gallery. There are two Greek and Roman Rooms. A Medieval Treasury houses examples of Christian art, 12th century stained glass, and other objects. An Egyptian Gallery houses sculptures, bronzes, and more, while the Near East Room features a model of the tabernacles of the Israelites, cuneiform tablets, and other items. The Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn Room features their memorabilia, and the family Chapel has a beautiful ceiling of glass mosaic representing the four beasts of the Apocalypse.

The Museum can be toured only one day per month without an appointment, but any day of the week if an appointment is made. Groups are welcome, and School Groups will find a Guided Tour to be highly educational. The Tour emphasizes the medieval collection but can be adapted to suit a variety of school needs. Call.

Visitors should also tour Bryn Athyn Cathedral, across the street. Built under Pitcairn's guidance, the building is one of Pennsylvania's true treasures. Tours can be had on any afternoon without an appointment (groups must reserve). Call for details.

Hours: The Museum may be visited on weekdays, except public holidays, by Guided Highlights Tours at 2:30pm and on Saturdays every half hour from 1:00 - 3:00pm or by appointment. Reservations are strongly recommended. Group tours of more than 10 people must be done during the week unless the group reserves several of the Saturday times listed above. No more than 10 people per tour. Always call before visiting.
Adults $10.00
Seniors (65+) $8.00
Students $8.00
Active Military & Families FREE
Children 4 and younger FREE
Prices may vary for special events. Call to confirm.
The Museum's 1st Floor, including the Great Hall, Upper Hall, and Bird Room, is open Saturdays FREE of charge, 1:00 - 4:30pm.
Reservations: At least 1 week in advance recommended for individuals. Note that the number of available tours is limited and each tour can have only 10 people. Reserve at least 4 weeks in advance for groups.
Lunch: Nearby restaurants.
Handicapped Access: Accommodations can be made with prior notification.
Directions: North on Rt. 611. 611 bears right and becomes Old York Rd. (about 7¼ miles from City Hall). 2¼ miles on Old York. Turn right onto Meetinghouse Rd. Go 3 miles and turn left onto Rt. 232. Pass Rt. 63 and go 4 lights to Cathedral Rd. Turn left. 30 minutes north of Philadelphia.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.