When trying to access content with no permission to access, I just get a white page with "403" in top left corner.





It sounds like you are saying that if a user does not have access to a page, they are getting a blank page with absolutely no content other than a simple "403" message in the upper left hand corner. 

I'm assuming that you would prefer that they get a page that has the formatting for the rest of your site, but instead of content they get an sensible "access denied" message.

I don't have a quick answer for you, but a few questions might help: 

1) Is the problem the same for unauthenticated users as well as authenticated users (assuming that they are both trying to access pages that they should not have access to)?

2) It sounds to me like the problem is with the layout. Do you have a fall-back (default) layout specified here: /admin/structure/layouts ?

Yes..that's right, but oddly, I restored an earlier database, and noted the issue disappeared ..and then when I restored the latest database, the issue did not return.

Since the restored databases exclude cache tables, I suspect it was cache related.

Thanks a million for helping...very grateful.