Thursday Doors: A Failed Excursion

This is another week of deep diving into my photo library for lost treasures.

This time I’m going back to a frigid day last winter when the Widow Badass and I went touring in her neck-of-the-woods for 3 places outlined in the book Top 150 Unusual Things To See In Ontario .

I had written several posts about our adventures together that day, but I never talked about the Castle Kilbride.

It’s not really a castle … more like a grand old manor house.

This was our first stop of the day and unfortunately, since it was off-season, the place was closed until later in the afternoon. Merde! … the interior of this house was the entire reason why we were there!

Castle Kilbride was declared a National Historic Site was because of the 3-dimensional murals – or trompe l’oeil – covering many of the mansion walls and ceilings.

We had expected to return, but it never happened.

Detail in the entranceway

So while The Widow cowered in the car with the heat cranked up to Bake, I braved frostbite to snap these few photos. Blame me for misjudging the weather that day and being improperly dressed for the cold.

Who knows when I might get another chance to return, so today I celebrate this beautiful door and entranceway. Apparently they don’t allow photography indoors, so even if we had been successful in our visit, I guess this is where my post would have ended anyway.

Thursday Doors is a weekly photo event hosted by Norm Frampton. This week’s post at Norm 2.0 takes us back a couple of millennia to Pompeii and well worth the visit!


  1. I’m sorry to hear that you weren’t able to get inside and boo to the cold!! But, Holy Moly, that building is stunning. Nicely captured Joanne!! πŸ™‚


  2. I could stand inside that doorway for hours and admire it. If it was summer – not mid-summer with heat and high humidity. Early summer, around 70, with the birds singing and no car heater needed. I’d just sit there with a smile on my face and imagine the wonderful ones who lived in that ‘castle.’
    But I get the frigidness of the day you got there, and turning the car heater on BAKE. I didn’t realize anyone else had a car with that button. It’s my favorite button from December through March. ;-0 πŸ™‚


  3. “With the heat cranked up to bake” You crack me up. Love that line. It does look fascinating and I appreciate you freezing to bits to get that creative photo looking upward. Or did that happen after falling on ice and looking up? Just kidding. I do love the destials of the pillars and decorative leaves. Kind of like palms that took a wrong turn at the border.


    • Thankfully there was no falling on this particular day! The falling part is really easy. It’s the getting back up that seems to be taking a lot more effort these days 😏

      I laughed at the part about “palms that took a wrong turn at the border”. That’s a mistake any heat-loving plant wouldn’t want to make in February 😏

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Joanne, I stopped by to say “hello” and look at your failed attempt, which I don’t think is failed at all. That is a lovely piece of architecture…the entrance is stunning!

    As cold as it was that day, I bet you’ll soon be embracing a warmer spring and off hiking and biking with your bud.


    • I’ve been dreaming of hiking and biking for some time now. Even though the temperatures have been barely above freezing for the past couple of weeks, it’s been enough to make the mounds of snow melt surprisingly fast. However, there’s still way too much ice to take a decent walk without risking life and limb.
      Yes, I think we will all be welcoming the warmer weather with relief and gratitude!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Joanne,
    I have trouble thinking that any outing with Widow Badass Deb could be considered “failed”…plus you got those interesting photos.
    Although I’m with Donna – I would have probably been baking with the Widow in the car. You are more intrepid than I…and swearing in French somehow seems so much more refined and exotic! πŸ™‚


    • You are so right – any outing with the Widow is an adventure that is virtually guaranteed to be high-spirited and giggle-worthy.

      … and yes, everything in French is a little more ‘refined’. When my French husband was learning to speak English, he often complained about our lack of adequate vocabulary in the swearing category πŸ˜†


  6. Fab doors! I really liked your ‘failed’ excursion results. They’re better than many of my ‘successful’ door collections.
    I’m acquainted to Kilbrides and must find out if they know about their castle πŸ˜‰


  7. With an exterior that gorgeous, I think you met your Thursday Door requirements for an excellent post. There are some amazing architectural details there, and it’s all resting on a handsome foundation. Not very often do I associate handsome with foundation, but it fits in this case. πŸ™‚


    • It’s a shame this lovely doorway was abandoned in my library for so long. I really hoped for a followup trip, but after a year I guess it’s time to acknowledge the facts.


  8. Ahhhh too bad (merde!) that you did not get to see the inside. That sure is a grand manor from the outside!! I might have opted to “luxuriate” in the warmth of the car as well, I have to say, given that there was no way to get inside haha.



  9. Ohh, I saw the title and scrawled quickly down to see what happened only to discover gorgeous photos! When I read about the matter I understood, but these are still gorgeous photos! And you did it in deep freeze! Great stuff. Sooner or later you’ll see it on the inside too and I bet it will be spectacular.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I think getting a little frost bit isn’t too much sacrifice for you to make for your readers. Such a beautiful building! I’d like to think that I’d be out taking pictures with you, but luxuriating in a heated car sounds pretty good too. Sad that they don’t allow pictures inside… it must be magnificent.


  11. Any outing that nets you a door and an entranceway like that is NOT what I’d call a Failed Excursion.
    I’m guessing that if the entrance alone is that special the inside has to be downright spectacular. You’ll have to go back soon πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand what you’re saying, Norm … but you know the feeling. You get a ‘taste’ and want more. Much more πŸ˜‰

      Now that I’ve written this post, I’m getting the urge to head back and finish the tour!


  12. Sorry, even though you cursed in French (there’s always someone who knows, haha). But the outside is so colorful and tastefully done! These photos are just begging for you to come back. That it’s from your archives doesn’t make it less, Joanne!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Swearing in French feels so much more satisfying 😏

      I hope I can get back there some day and visit the inside. I’m sure it will be frustrating though not to be able to take photos.


    • We are in the middle of a major melt right now. The mild temperatures are creating lakes and rivers everywhere from the accumulated ice and snow. Any excursion outdoors needs a good pair of rubber boots!


  13. “3-dimensional murals – or trompe l’oeil – covering many of the mansion walls and ceilings” – so the place is big, but appears bigger from inside…


  14. Those are fantastic doors, Joanne. I don’t blame your excursion buddy. I don’t like being cold.

    I have a big bunch of places I’m supposed to go back to at some point in the future. We’ll see…


  15. Hi Joanne, This is the first time I have heard of 3 dimensional murals. Impressive from the outside and now of course, I am intrigued to see the inside. You mentioned no photos allowed inside. We found that was the case recently on our trip in dark areas in New Zealand. Animals were being protected. Yet, some people were still furtively taking photos with their phone. I giggled when I read your word “cowered.” I wondered whether you would get a response.


    • hehehe – yes, The Widow responded. Don’t know if you saw her comment πŸ™‚

      I realized in hindsight I probably didn’t describe the murals properly. They aren’t actually 3-D … it’s just that they appear to be. I’ve seen many of these kinds of murals and they always fascinate me.

      My understanding is that most of the time the issue with photography is from the use of flash. It’s easier to enforce no photography than no flash.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. You can just see the disappointment on peoples’ faces when they read the ‘no photography’ signs in various buildings. The outside is gorgeous, though. In high school, ‘merde’ was one of the first swear words we learned in French class. And I went to a Catholic high school! I think Sister Mary Harold was well ahead of her time. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh yes! I remember well how cold it was that day! Still, we managed to have fun (as we always do) despite the weather, and our timing being off. However, I take umbrage at the word “cowered. I prefer “luxuriated”. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 4 people

  18. What a beauty! And symmetrical too – I love symmetrical houses πŸ˜€ The proportions and the balance and harmony appeal to me, maybe it;s the Libra in me!! And I thank you for braving the cold yet again in the pursuit of our happiness. Well, mine anyway πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I like those ostentatious doors and colorful porch pillars. Too bad it was closed, as you must have missed a beautiful sight indoors. What? No photography allowed inside? That just seems snobbish.


    • Every once in a while I seem to run into this ‘no photography’ thing. While I’d be the first to say the world’s probably gone a little too snap-happy, sometimes the prohibition just baffles me.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree. When we visited Europe there were some places that I would have loved to photograph inside but could only take the outside of the buiilding.
        Too bad you couldn’t get inside but sounds like it was still a fun adventure with a friend and that’s always a plus! πŸ™‚


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