Home » Yorkshire » Knaresborough » Not quite what it appears

Not quite what it appears

Following on from a recent Weekly Photo Challenge post on my other blog Pic a colour 4 me I set myself the challenge, that on my next trip to Knaresborough I would try to locate and photograph as many of the other trompe l’oeil ‘windows’ that I could find.

Leaving Harrogate hospital after visiting mum, we hopped onto the bus back to her house. We I decided instead of getting off at my mums stop, it would be a good idea to stay on the bus and pop into Knaresborough for my ‘challenge’

Dragging T- rather reluctantly with me – for moral support and a second pair of eyes, we jumped off the bus in the quaint Yorkshire market town.

I knew the location of a few of these amazing artworks, so not too hard a challenge, or so I though 😕

The first we found was easy, in the High Street and facing the bus station, I’d seen it many times.


This ‘window’ represents the zoo that Knaresborough once had. Not a very pleasant place, I can remember my parents glee in telling me the zoo had finally closed.

Next we set off down High Street towards the River Nidd, as I knew I’d seen two just off this main street.


This one is in the alleyway leading to the Frazer Theatre, which is just off the High Street next to Tesco. The figures are life size and rather spooky  when first seen.

I then dragged T down one side of the High Street and back up the other, looking for another similar painting of some people entering an open door, which I knew I’d seen somewhere.

After about twenty minutes without any luck, I got the usual……… ‘Are you sure you haven’t dreamt it?’ ….. ‘Are you sure they weren’t real people going through a proper door?’ …. ‘Had I been to the pub first?’

‘Never mind’ I replied ‘perhaps it wasn’t in this street at all, let’s go to Blind Jacks, I know there’s one there’

T’s eyes lit up ‘Now you’re talking sense’ he replied………. Blind Jacks by the way, is T’s favourite pub in Knaresborough.

We headed off towards the pub in the Market Place. It was market day, and the centre of the town was alive with the hustle and bustle of all the stall holders.


While I took a photo of the painting of Blind Jack entertaining the pub clientele, T walked towards the door of the pub hoping to join the real drinkers for a pint, only to find it was another three hours before it opened.

Oh dear, this certainly dampened what little bit of enthusiasm he had with my search.

After checking on the internet before leaving home, I knew others were to be found in the vicinity of the Market Place, and the small streets leading off.

We must have looked a very odd couple, not looking at the stalls, but carefully picking our way between them looking skyward at the surrounding buildings. The odd person we passed, did look at us and then up to see what we were looking at 😀


This one of King John in Castlegate was the only other one we could find, it depicts the first Royal Maundy which apparently took place in Knaresborough 5th April 1210.

‘Aha!’ I suddenly had a brainwave, ‘let’s go and check with the tourist centre’ I said, as I dragged the now totally fed up T with me. Only to find it closed for lunch 😦

‘That’s it, I’ve had enough, I’m going back to your mums house’, he announced as he headed off towards the bus station.

I decided to wait until it opened up, so to kill a bit of time, I grabbed something from a local bakery and went to sit in the castle grounds, overlooking the river to eat it, by which time the tourist centre had re-opened.

The assistant in the tourist centre was extremely helpful, she gave me a leaflet with information about the windows and their whereabouts. She also confirmed there were several temporary trompe l’oeil painted for the annual Feva festival, which confirmed my memory of the ‘door and people’ painting I’d been searching for had not been a figment of my imagination.

Armed with my information and map, I set off in search again, but I only managed to find two more before the light started to fail.


Local Hero, James”Ginger” Lacey, one of the best know fighter pilots of World War II.


Plus a self portrait of Julie Cope,  the artist who painted the zoo and the Guy Fawkes themed one on my Pic a colour blog mentioned above.

Later that evening, when we returned to Knaresborough for something to eat (and a drink in Blind Jacks), I asked the location of ‘I can see the world’s end from here’ painting. No wonder I didn’t find it earlier, it was three storeys up.

The next trip to Yorkshire, I will get that photo and hopefully find the rest 🙂

Below is the leaflet I have scanned (hopefully not illegally) with all the information. I haven’t reduced the images of it too much, so they info should be legible.



11 thoughts on “Not quite what it appears

  1. Wow, excellent and fascinating post. I think the best one for me has to be the self portrait of Julie Cope as it looks very lifelike and believable. 🙂 Mind you the one of Ginger is great too.

  2. Hmmm, now why didn’t this come up on Reader? Or maybe it did and I missed it, as I’m behind on reading up. Can’t write and read at the same time. Anyway, I used my own advice and thought I would have a click to see if you had posted anything and you had. Glad you decided to post these in the end, great collection. I like the animals of course, love the giraffe sticking his/her head out of the window. I think I vaguely remember the existence of the zoo, can’t remember if I ever went though.
    I like King John too for some reason, don’t know why. Didn’t know about his Knaresborough relationship and the first Maundy, that was interesting.
    I could just about read the leaflet (glasses off and peering at the screen). Good think all those links opened in separate windows 😉 I was reading about feva, and trying to work out the name because it didn’t explain it anywhere – short for FEstiVAl? Odd because it sounds like an acronym.
    And I only noticed on this that you are framing all your pix – they really look good on this series of photos, finishes them off very well.
    Excellent post Vicky, really enjoyed it. Quite unique.

    • Thank you 🙂 Unique, I like it 🙂 that’s thanks to the windows though.

      I do think Reader is playing up, I didn’t get a notification about one of yours either. I never went to the zoo, though I was aware of it being there, I hate to see caged animals. I didn’t know about the Maundy link to Knaresborough either, it’s amazing all the info I’ve found about various things since I started blogging. I was hoping the leaflet images would open up bigger just by clicking on them, but it looks like they need right clicking, then they open separately. I’ll see if I can change something somewhere.


      • Yep, the reader is not working properly. I’ve had loads of posts from people I follow just vanish off the reader or not show up in the first place. I’m having to manually go through each blog now to find new posts as the reader is simply not reliable.

      • Of course right click is only useful with a mouse 😉 maybe bring it back from BigHal.

        Reader has this odd habit of sometimes delaying when they publish new posts, so I found yours later (ie after I had visited here) when I was scrolling down to try and catch up. It does that a lot with p&k’s posts too.

        Yes, me too. The strange conspiracy theory about the death of the Polish PM here in the war comes to mind immediately, but it does actually make you want to look something up to make a decent post. Plus, it works the other way, you learn from other blogs.

  3. Really interesting post, Vicky 🙂 I didn’t realise you had another blog so I’ll have a quick look over there shortly too. And I see what you mean about the borders. They do look good.
    I haven’t often been to Knaresborough but I had no idea these were there. Will definitely look out for them next visit. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Thank you Jo 🙂

      I love them, especially now I know a bit about them.
      I only noticed them last year, and didn’t realises there were so many.
      I think they add interest to what would otherwise just be a blocked up window.

  4. so fascinating! thanks for sharing. the reader is not working well for me either. i have just unfollowed and followed you again, i hope that will help.
    i really like that giraffe – and all the cats in the windows too 🙂

  5. Pingback: Parlez-vous Tyke | Vics Pics and More

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