Residents of Victoria who use Fort St might have noticed the new stonework at the intersection of Fort and Joan Cr. These new gateposts are part of the continuing restoration work being carried out at the Craigdarroch Castle and its grounds. The gateposts are replicas of the original ones that would have greeted the guests of the Dunsmuir family, for whom the castle was built.
The plan will see renovation of the grounds to re-establish historical plantings that will accurately portray the way the gardens looked back when the Dunsmuirs inhabited the castle during the 1890’s.
Robert Dunsmuir made his fortune in the coal mining business, and was one of the wealthiest men in British Columbia during the late 1800’s. His iconic residence was built between 1887 and 1890, and cemented his reputation as the richest and most influential man in Western Canada.
The castle perches upon a rocky hill overlooking the City of Victoria, and no expense was spared during its construction and finishing. The stained glass windows, stone construction and intricate woodwork are exquisitely wrought. It is lavishly furnished with antiques from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
A private non-profit society, the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society, currently owns and manages the property. The castle is open for public viewing and available to rent for private functions. Visitors and rentals fund the ongoing maintenance and restoration work.
The 140,000 visitors each year who visit the historical attraction are testament to the fact that Craigdarroch Castle is an absolute treasure of which people living in Victoria are proud.