Amongst the plethora of historical buildings in Victoria lies the oh so illustrious and grand Craigdarroch Castle, nestled in the residential Oak Bay area. If you have yet to visit this stunning historical marvel, you are in for an awe-inspiring treat!
What is the story behind the Craigdarroch?
Craigdarroch Castle was built in the late 1800’s by a gentleman by the name of Robert Dunsmuir. He was most certainly the most wealthy gentleman in the West. This building housed his entire family and (of course) his extensive wait staff. The sources of the Dunsmuir fortune were many, including coal mining, working for the legislative assembly of Nanaimo, real estate, a quarry and many, many others. As the wealth grew, Mr. Dunsmuir grew weak, and with his passing came the struggle for the family fortune. The money turned family members against each other, and the once strong nuclear unit collapsed.
Over the years the Castle existed in many forms, undergoing constant waves of transformation until it’s final destination as National Historic Museum in Victoria, BC. It has been used as a military hospital, a college and a music conservatory after the Dunsmuirs left it.
The proof of the transformations quite literally lay in its walls, where you can still see etchings by students wishing to leave their mark.
Where is the Castle?
The Castle is located at 1050 Joan Crescent (after wife Joan Dunsmuir) near the junction of Yates and Fort.
When is it open?
Hours of operation are 10:00am to 4:30pm, with adjusted hours for Craigdarroch’s interactive Castle plays available on selected dates.
How much does it cost?
Visiting the castle costs:
$14.25 for Adults
$9.25 for Students
$5.00 for Children under 12
BUT – AND THIS IS A BIGG BUT – if you are a member of the Greater Victoria Public Library, you can visit the Castle for FREE! You simply have to borrow the E-Pass from the Library.
Craigdarroch Castle has recently added a new feature for it’s guests allowing them to take an audio tour, narrated by the Castle’s currator!
Head on down and visit today!
More information at thecastle.ca
feature image: vazagothic.com