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Castle Kilbride is a grand Victorian mansion that was constructed in 1877 and is now a National Historic Site. Businessman, entrepreneur and politician James Livingston commissioned the Italianate home. James was a poor Scottish immigrant who made his fortune in the flax industry. As a tribute to his birthplace in East Kilbride Scotland , James called his beautiful home, "Castle Kilbride."

The Castle was home to the Livingston family for three generations from 1877 to 1988. The last generation sold the home to a developer and the Castle was left vacant for 5 years and began to deteriorate rapidly.In 1993, the Township of Wilmot purchased the home and intensive restoration began.

By September of 1994, the Castle had been restored to its former glory and the doors were opened to the public as a community museum with Township offices "twinned" to the exterior of the home. The Castle's exterior may dominate the rural landscape, but it is the treasures that are hidden inside that make this building worthy of National significance!

Once entering the home visitors will be overwhelmed by the magnificent trompe l'oeil paintings that fill the home. Trompe l'oeil is a French term that means "fools the eye." Wall and ceiling murals are painted to give the illusion that they are three-dimensional objects. Is it real or not? Castle Kilbride also offers both permanent and temporary exhibitions.

 

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“Stratford itself is the type of walkable wholesome town Rodgers and Hammerstein might write a musical about.”

- Amy Alipio, Associate Editor, National Geographic Traveler

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