Sunday, June 10, 2018

An Arch And Abbey Ruin

Picking up generally where we left off yesterday, here we have views looking up the slope towards Moorside on the Mackenzie King Estate.

Here we have another folly. The Arc de Triomphe comes from the same building, the British North American Bank Note Company, that was demolished in 1936 and from which King took the pieces for his Window On The Forest. The arch, now set against the backdrop of the woods, is a nod to his interest in classical architecture and a symbol of his return to the prime minister's job with his 1935 victory.

The path led on. This sign was along the way, reading, 'let no word or thought enter there which was not the holiest and best.'

It refers to this place, the Abbey, a ruin created by King starting in 1935. It is constructed from the stones of various sources- the original Centre Block after it was destroyed by fire, the Batson House in Ottawa when it was being demolished, a crest of a British Speaker of the House of Commons at Westminster, and even stones from the printing office owned by his maternal grandfather, William Lyon Mackenzie. Together they form a marvelous folly that very much feels like the ruins of an abbey you might find in Europe. They're a delight to the visitor.


  1. What a site! There's so much to see and to love here. The Arc for one; and the beautiful woods; and the restored abbey. Incredible! I'll bet it's a popular place to visit.

  2. I am surprised to see a rather old Abbey in your new country. Usually they date from 10th century on. The Arc in the midst of the wood looks a bit strange in my European eyes,lol !

  3. Wonderful photos. You captured the beauty and made me want to visit!

  4. Too bad that they demolished everything there ...
    The "triumphal arch" is splendid, but I like the ruins, especially the arcades on the windows ...
    Have a nice Sunday!

  5. Your photos make the folly even more interrsting.

  6. Beautiful shots....MacKenzie, eh? Have you watched Outlander?

  7. ...a great place, too bad that there were so many black flies.

  8. What a joy to see even more of those wonderful follies.
    I'm beginning to like that Mackenzie King Estate more and more.

  9. @Lowell: it is!

    @Gattina: it does look deceptively so, but salvaging Gothic architecture would do that.

    @Mildred: thank you!

    @Ella: in demolishing things, that gave King a chance to save something from the wreckage and.create anew.

    @Maywyn: thanks!

    @Pat: I have not.

    @Tom: I only really noticed the blackflies at the start.

    @Jan: it is a wonderful place.

    @Francisco: thanks!

  10. The ruins are just that---but great looking

  11. This is a part of Mackenzie King that I did not know about. King was a very different person but very interesting.

  12. Nice to see the stone made ruins!

  13. There is certainly a lot to see at this place!

  14. This is wonderful, beautiful and so very interesting place.
    Adore the Arc de Triomphe in the forest. What a perfect place to look, see and enjoy.
    I have a fountain wall that has a small window in it. Even though you see the views the second you look through the window it all changes.

    cheers, parsnip

  15. stone work is awesome love all the arches. nice! ( ;

  16. Favorite photos are the archways in the beginning of post ~ wonderful stonework photos too!

    Happy Week ahead to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  17. Magnificent architecture. Thanks so much for sharing it. Those stones are impressive. :-)

  18. An interesting place, William. I like the arch.

  19. @Marie: definitely!

    @MB: I think they're marvelous.

    @Red: he was definitely a character.

    @RedPat: absolutely!

    @Weekend: It is!

    @Sharon: there is indeed.

    @Parsnip: I enjoyed being here.

    @Beth: thank you!

    @Carol: thanks!

    @DJan: you're welcome.

    @Marleen: so do I.

  20. Love the Arc de Triomphe! So beautifully situated in the woods!

  21. Great post, love the old ruins particularly. Thanks William!

  22. I love exploring places like this and you have captured this one quite well with your photos.

  23. Wow! How fabulous is that!?! What a place!

  24. A photographer's dream William, love all of the follies here, super views through the arch ✨

  25. I think follies are fun. and the stone work of the abbey is really beautiful. I can see you have loads of photo ops here!

  26. Always something nice about ruins …
    Great series of photographs.

    All the best Jan

  27. You have lot of well kept history where you are living. Interesting and nice.

  28. Canada is full of beautiful places....

  29. I always feel strange, when I see one alone standing wall of the church or any other building.

  30. @Tamago: it is quite something to see for the first time.

    @Denise: you're welcome.

    @Janey: that they are.

    @Michelle: thank you.

    @Mari: more ancient than it is!

    @Kay: it is, yes!

    @Grace: it is ideal for the photographer.

    @Jeanie: no shortage of photo ops!

    @Jan: thank you!

    @Gunn: thanks!

    @Norma: indeed.

    @Klara: King had quite a gift for creating something that evoked that.