Construction materials: The exterior of Craigdarroch Castle is made primarily of local materials, including granite and sandstone from nearby quarries and Douglas fir timber from the surrounding forests. The interior features materials imported from Europe, such as Italian marble and English oak.
Ownership history: After the death of Robert Dunsmuir, his widow Joan lived in the castle until her own death in 1908. The castle was then sold to a series of owners who used it for various purposes, including as a military hospital during World War II. In 1956, the castle was purchased by a group of private citizens who formed the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society to restore and operate the castle as a museum.
Restoration: The castle underwent a major restoration project in the 1970s and 1980s, which involved repairing and replacing many of the original features and furnishings. The restoration was guided by historic photographs and documents to ensure that the castle was restored to its original appearance as much as possible.
Dunsmuir family: The Dunsmuir family was one of the wealthiest and most influential families in British Columbia during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Robert Dunsmuir was a coal mining magnate who amassed a fortune in the industry, and his son James Dunsmuir served as Premier of British Columbia from 1900 to 1902. The family's wealth and social status are reflected in the opulent design and decoration of Craigdarroch Castle.
Architectural style: Craigdarroch Castle is an example of the Victorian style of architecture, which was popular in the late 19th century. The style is characterized by ornate decoration, asymmetrical design, and a mix of architectural elements from different historical periods. The castle also features some elements of the Scottish Baronial style, which was inspired by the castles and mansions of Scotland.
Tower: The tower at the top of Craigdarroch Castle offers panoramic views of Victoria and the surrounding area. Visitors can climb the narrow staircase to the top of the tower and enjoy the views from the outdoor observation deck. The tower also served a functional purpose as a lookout point for the Dunsmuir family.
A historic Scottish Baronial palace from the Victorian era, Craigdarroch Castle is located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Due of its significance as a landmark in Victoria, it was named a National Historic Site of Canada.
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Craigdarroch Castle, which was painstakingly rebuilt and is now a National Historic Site, was built by coal magnate Robert Dunsmuir during the reign of Queen Victoria and offers tourists a glimpse of affluent life in the 1890s. The Castle tells a wonderful story of an unusual family, including their accomplishments, relationships, and eccentricities.
When Craigdarroch Castle was constructed, it is estimated that it cost up to $500,000 and featured granite from British Columbia, tile from San Francisco, and a prefabricated oak staircase from Chicago. Craigdarroch was was built amid grounds that included 28 acres of formal gardens in Victoria's Rockland district.Craigdarroch Castle has more than 25,000 square feet and features 39 rooms.
The luxurious 1890s furniture are still present at the four-story Craigdarroch Castle, which is also renowned for its beautiful woodwork and stained glass. The stained glass of Craigdarroch Castle has been recorded by the Institute for Stained Glass in Canada.
1050 Joan Crescent, Victoria, BC V8S 3L5, Canada
The late President James K. Nesbitt established the Castle Society more than 50 years ago. Other well-known British Columbians who shared his enthusiasm for the Castle were early members. They had the idea that Craigdarroch would eventually be preserved and turned into a public museum.
When Mrs. Robert Dunsmuir lived in the Castle from 1890 to 1908, the Society's 1959 Constitution included two clauses describing the collection policy: "The gathering of furniture and bric-a-brac, and other historic objects for the Castle rooms, so that they may appear as much as possible as they were during that time" and "The gathering of photographs and paintings, for the Castle rooms, of the Dunsmuir family, and of Victoria during that era."
July 13, 2022
Visit the Castle Gift Shop where you'll discover a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind goods made by regional craftsmen to delight everyone on your list.
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