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Castle Valley


Castle Valley [1]

A hamlet of scattered dwellings in Doylestown Township, two miles southwest of Doylestown on Neshaminy Creek at the intersection of Almshouse and Lower State Roads. Once a part of Warwick, it was included in Doylestown Township in 1819. In colonial times it was known as Bartons Ford, so named for Thomas Barton, a nephew of Walter Shewell, founder of Plainswick Hall a short half mile from Castle Valley. Barton bought this tract of 200 acres on the east bank of the Neshaminy from the executors of Jeremiah Langhorne in 1750. Bartons Ford may have been the name of this locality down to 1835, when the covered bridge was built to carry the Lower State Road over the creek. The name was then changed to Castle Valley.

The Neshaminy circles the north and east slopes of a steep hill upon which the "Castle" for which the valley was named was to have been built. The castle was the dream of one Thomas Meredith Jr., known throughout the valley as "Crazy Tom," a harsh name for a sensitive, innocuous soul who thought no evil of his fellow man. Thomas Jr. is described by his biographer as a "youth with an inquiring mind and a strong disposition to study and learning. He became possessed of a good education, probably in Philadelphia. But alas, much learning had made him mad. Too close application to study and perhaps other causes had dethroned his reason, and thereafter the great world problems."

"Tom" Meredith had conceived the idea of building a great stone castle on the hill sloping toward the Neshaminy. In the execution of this wild project he was wisely indulged. Provided with a leather apron, he industriously carried stones in it to the top of the hill. He felled trees and had them hauled to the same spot. Day after day and year after year he piled the stones in a great thick-walled circle as high as he could reach until, as his biographer says, "his strength failed, his weary toils were at an end, and the darkened intellect planned and thought no more." He died about 1768.

  1. Macreynolds, George, Place Names in Bucks County, Doylestown, Bucks County Historical Society, Doylestown PA, 1942.

Castle Valley Map

Street Names
Almshouse Road • Lower State Road

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