Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria

Visitors to Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria, British Columbia can explore inside and out - walking the grounds, along the paths in the small grassy backyard and see this formidable structure as it has stood overlooking the city below for over a century. CREDIT: Venture Vancouver, SOURCE:

Craigdarroch Castle's formidable stone structure is one of the most visible landmarks in Victora, British Columbia.





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Camera, Questions, Sense of Curiosity

Sitting high above the city of Victoria, British Columbia, Craigdarroch Castle is a historic house museum with rooms on each of its three stories filled with artifacts, antique furniture and heirlooms of the Dunsmuirs - echoes of the wealth and power of this prominent family. Visit the Castle during the day or enjoy its spectacular facade at night and step back over one hundred years into history!

Located high above the Pacific Ocean and overlooking the City of Victoria is the formidable Craigdarroch Castle (the name comes from the Gaelic phrase 'rocky oak place'). Built between 1887 to 1890, Craigdarroch was a symbol of the wealth of its builder, coal magnate Robert Dunsmuir who was the richest and most influential man in Western Canada during the turn of the century. Although he died before its completion in 1889, the house was still home to his wife and other family members until 1908 when Joan Dunsmuir died. Afterwards, the building served as a military hospital, a college, offices and home to the Victoria Conservatory of Music. In 1979 the newly formed Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society started work on making the building a museum, funding its restorative work through donations and admission.

This lavish mansion was Victoria's most notable landmark as it could be seen from land and water - its structure reminiscent of the castles in Robert Dunsmui's native Scotland. Offering over 20,000 square feet of living space across four floors and 39 rooms, Craigdarroch was a gathering place for Victoria's elite who could marvel at the beautiful stained glass windows, intricate oak wood panelling, odd fireplaces and beautiful Victorian furnishings. Originally sprawling across twenty-eight acres, the Castle is now confined to a mere 1.75 acres - most of which is incorporated in the small grassy garden in the back which offers stunning views of Craigdarroch year round.

Prepare to be awed as you step into this magnificent abode from the admissions entrance - the first sight which greets visitors is a magnificent four story staircase which leads to the many floors in Craigdarroch. The first floor has a Library, a Drawing Room and a Dining Room packed with old books, antiques and century old furniture. The second floor offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the Dunsmuirs at the exhibit room as well as the chance to see Mrs. Dunsmuir's Sitting Room and several bedrooms. The third floor also has several bedrooms and the billiard room which was a popular locale with many male visitors to Craigdarroch. The final floor which also leads to the tower was the main room for social events such as dances. The many windows on this floor also offer spectacular views of Victoria to the west and the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the snow capped Olympic Mountain range to the south. After, a quick walk down through the servant's area will lead you to the gift shop and afterwards to the garden to view this stunning structure in its entirety.

One of Victoria's most prominent structures, Craigdarroch Castle (floor map) is the perfect activity throughout the year, providing a glimpse into the history of the region while also offering a peek into the pompous reasoning behind the construction of this formidable house as a reflection of the man who commissioned it.

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Photo and Image Gallery

The imposing stone structure of Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria, British Columbia is a beautiful sight during the night as it is spectacularly lit. Nighttime visitors can view the castle from all angles including the entrance with its tall turret.
This plaque found outside the entrance to Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria, British Columbia details the history behind this formidable building and the reson behind its construction as a symbol of the wealth and power of coal magnate Robert Dunsmuir.
This sign outside of Craigdarroch Castle which is located in Victoria, British Columbia on Vancouver Island reads: "Home of the Dunsmuirs coal magnates allied with pioneer California titans Huntington and Crocker" - a reference to the history behind the family which built this formidable residence.
The many interesting antique pieces found throughout the many rooms of Craigdarroch Castle in Victora, British Columbia offer a glimpse into the history of the area and some of the many items that were commonplace in households and also those which were new inventions such as these 3D glasses.
Both day and night, Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria, British Columbia is a stunning landmark for visitors to enjoy year round. At night, be sure to drive up and see the castle lit up from the gardens in the back - one of the city's most spectacular nighttime sights.
The beautiful wooden staircase is one of Craigdarroch Castle's most stunning elements as visitors which are greeted at the bottom of the staircase have the opportunity to look up and see the grandeur of this Castle overlooking Victora, British Columbia.
Stepping through the doors of Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria, British Columbia is like stepping into Victoria a century ago. Rooms are filled with antiques, old furniture and paintings owned by the Dunsmuir family which built the castle between 1887-1890.
The formidable facade of Craigdarroch Castle is one of Victora, British Columbia's most recognizable buildings which sits high above the city. Built for coal magnate Robert Dunsmiur and his family, the Castle now is a tourist attraction with every room filled with antiques and old furniture.

Location of Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, Vancouver Island

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1050 Joan Crescent
V8S 3L5

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