Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Head for the Hills

 I spent last Friday in my happy place, Northumberland County. Uncrowded villages. Farms, working and retired. Camel back hills of pines, roller coaster concession roads. I celebrated the last sunny warm day of the fall with a transcendent exploration of new roads and old buildings.

I realized the spell that Northumberland County has over me - it's the hills. I've always been drawn to elevation changes, and the vignettes of buildings tucked into hollows, nestled against hills.

Heading homeward along county road 25, I stopped at Brickley, to record the lovely board and batten schoolhouse. I walked over the hill to see what was on the other side (as bears do) and surrendered to this wonderful stretch of road. Open country. Breathable air. Silence and solitude. Test drive it for yourself.
Brickley school No. 5 Percy Township


  1. I recently watched a program about folks wanting to relocate to Norfolk County, England. As they showed footage of the countryside, it made me realize why my ancestors (from Norfolk) felt so at home in Northumberland County, Ontario.

  2. I have always loved those ribbon roads and envied the lush rolling hills of Northumberland County. South of us, Prince Edward County has in contrast, many flat scrubby stretches. The reward there is the breathtaking views of bays and reaches. When I lived in Madoc, I learned with time, to appreciate the rugged appeal of the Laurentian Shield topography of Hastings County with its swamps and barren rock. All around us, we have adjacent counties each with its own definition of beauty.

  3. Agree, hmuir. There are so many different forms of natural beauty. Think of the Australian outback, the Arctic tundra. All that remains is for us to open our eyes.