2 On The Road Blog

After 12 years of full-time rving, we've sold our truck and trailer but we're still traveling. Email us at wowpegasus@hotmail.com if you would like to contact us.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Craigdarroch Castle - Victoria, BC

Craigdarroch Castle, pronounced Craigderrick, is a Designated Canadian National Historic Site.

When the castle was finally ready for occupancy, Roberts wife, Joan, three of their daughters and two orphaned grandchildren moved in.  Since Joan Dunsmuir's death in 1908, the Castle has been used as: Craigdarroch Military Hospital; Victoria College (the predecessor of the University of Victoria); offices for the Victoria School Board; the Victoria Conservatory of Music; and finally today as the Craigdarroch Castle Historic House Museum.

Now owned by a not-for-profit charity, conservation of this national treasure is funded almost exclusively from revenues contributed by approximately 100,000 annual visitors.

Click on the photo to enlarge it for better reading.
Looking up as we entered the home, we could see the staircase leading up to the top floor.  Beautiful! 

The wood in the library is Spanish mahogany.  The cylindrical radiators are part of the house's original heating system and are still functioning as part of the modern system.

The radiator in the hall was a quarter circle so it fit in the corner.  So cool!
In the garden entrance alcove stands this Swiss bear hallstand that is original to the house.

The 1898 Steinway piano come from Hatley Park, home of the Dunsmuir's eldest son James.   The stained glass window depicting a woman and a swan is a reproduction of the original; all other windows in the room are original. 
A fine art conservator restored the original hand painted and stenciled ceiling, removing five layers of house paint.  the ceiling received its first coat of institutional paint in 1935 during the Victoria College period.  This is a small section of the ornate ceiling.
The table, original to the room, had only five of the seven leaves inserted.

The windows each had three movable shutters.  They could be moved down as far as the lowest one so the window could be raised.

Widow Joan Dunsmuir spent time here managing the vast family business.

This work of art was not explained by any sign but I believe it to be hair art.  Very intricate.


From 1919 to 1921, the castle was occupied by the Craigdarroch Military Hospital.
From 1946 to 1968 the home was occupied by the Victoria School Board.  1969 to 1979 - Victoria Conservatory of Music.  1969 to present - Historic House Museum.
The Billiard Room was used by the Dunsmuir daughters to relax and entertain.  This billiard table is not original to the home but is the same size and manufactured by the same company as the original table.  Graffiti was carved into the wood paneling by Victoria College students and has been preserved as part of the history of the house.
The large ballroom on the top floor has some examples of formal wear from the Dunsmuir era.

Look at the intricately carved back on this chair.

Views from the dance hall were impressive.  I'm sure it was even more so back in the day when the castle was surrounded by 28 acres bare of other homes.

As the tower was round, so was the door leading from it to the dance hall.  The floor tiles came from the Minton Tile Company of England.

No bleached white toilet paper at that time.

The stained glass window depicts Sir Walter Raleigh who is credited with making tobacco popular in Britain.

This is a seed wreath.  Dang that took a long time to make!

Wood ornament that hung down from the top of the staircase.

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