I’m having a pretty poor track record of visiting National Historic Sites during open hours (remember this?). As it happens, my visits to these places have also occurred when the shadows are harshest and the gardens are barren, which hasn’t made for ideal photos.
But they’ll have to do. It’s Thursday, so I wanted to be sure I had a door to contribute for Norm’s Thursday Doors weekly feature.
Castle Kilbride, as it’s known, is in the small town of Baden, Ontario. If you live somewhere in the world where a castle is an imposing, ancient stone fortress with towers and dungeons, you might be misled by the name. Castle Kilbride is a large, young-ish (by “castle” standards), beautifully maintained Victorian house.
The home was built in 1877 for James Livingston, who was a leader in the local flax and linseed oil industries. Named after his birthplace in Scotland, the home stayed in the family for three generations. It was sold to a developer in the late 1980’s, but the development plan fell through, leaving the building to an uncertain fate. Fortunately the Township of Wilmot bought the property and began restoration in 1993. It was declared a National Historic Site in 1995.
Inside, it’s known for its Trompe l’oeil ceiling and wall murals (which I will see when I get my act together and visit during operating hours), and for the care and detail that have gone into the realistic re-creation of the time period.
Interestingly, the Township’s administrative offices are located in a completely modern addition to the rear of the home. You can’t see it from the front (probably on purpose). It’s not an ugly building, but (in my opinion) it does look a bit odd when viewed from the side, since it’s attached to the historic house.
In any case – this place is worth another visit when the gardens are lush and the front door is open.
Thank you, as always, for stopping by.