Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Craigdarroch Castle

Craigdarroch Castle sounds like a place nestled in the Scottish highlands. But there it is sitting in the heart of Victoria. On my second last day in the capital city, my friend Katherine and I visited the castle that once upon a time sat in the midst of 28 acres of land with a man-made lake. What grand style to spend a rainy day in November.

Building of the massive home was started in 1887 for Robert Dunsmir and his family. Robert had accumulated a good deal of wealth from coal and the railway on Vancouver Island. Robert died before the castle was finished but in 1890 his widow, their 3 unwed daughters and 2 orphaned grand children moved in.

What I found out that caught my attention:

  • Robert's wife, Joan, lived in the castle for nearly 18 years. And no one has lived in there since that time.
  • The castle has been a hospital, college, music school, and now a "must see" attraction.
  • The stained and leaded glass windows are spectacular.

When I asked the young woman at admissions what was the biggest surprise about the castle, she said that for her it was that it was a prefab house. Prefab? The interior oak panelling was from trees in Arkansas that were fabricated in Chicago and shipped in 5 railway cars to Victoria. And it is beautiful...

My favourite room (to my surprise!) was the dining room. The beautiful wood and furnishings create a warm and welcoming environment:

There is much more too... For more info, click here:


Linda Crosfield said...

Been enjoying your blog, Patricia. You take great pix.

Patricia said...

Thanks, Linda... That is a very fine compliment - from one who knows how to take a great picture!