The popular TV program Downton Abbey is filmed on location at the estate of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon's Highclere Castle. Having just binge-viewed Season 4, I whimsically summoned Google and began a tour of the "Folly". At its simplest a folly is a purposeless architectural anachronism. A structure the laird constructs on a difficult patch of land so that weekend guests will be surprised and delighted to find a roman temple as they reach the far west garden. And something that blocks the view of the manure pile from the path.
My time travel through the Google-verse eventually led to a delightful page on Urban Toronto. Most impressively, the posting was rich with very rare mid 19th C interior photographs.
Here's what's on view:
- Beverley House, (images circa 1911, just prior to the house's demolition). Situated at the NE corner of Richmond and John, and replaced by Ryerson Press. Now the CityTV Building.
- The John Gordon House on the SE corner of Clarence Square and Wellington West, later inhabited by Sir William Mortimer Clark, L-G between 1903-1905. A mid-19th C Italianate pile.
- Government House on the SW corner of King and Simcoe (1868-1912).
- Chorley Park, the Lieutenant-Governor's residence (circa 1915-1937; demolished in 1960)
- Most impressively, a series of views of workers residences during the same period. Touching.
- Flavelle House on Queen's Park Crescent
- Ermeleigh (SE corner of Sherbourne and Wellesley)
- Culloden House, home of John Ross Robertson, East side of Sherbourne South of Gerrard (still standing)