Craigdarroch Castle by George Cousins

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Craigdarroch means a “rocky,oak place” in Gaelic, and the castle was built in Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, between 1887 and 1890, for Robert Dunsmuir, a Scottish immigrant who made his fortune from coal mining on Vancouver Island. Along his road to fame and fortune he became many things to many people, some good, some bad. But he ended up being probably the richest and most important man in Western Canada. He died April 12, 1889 just before construction of the castle was completed so he never lived in it. His wife Joan solely inherited the estate, valued at $15-$20 million US dollars in 1888. Joan lived there from 1890 until her death in 1908.
Over the years the castle has served many other roles, including a military hospital,a college, offices of the school board and a music conservatory. The task of restoring the castle to it’s original state has been ongoing for many years under the guidance and care of the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society. Now hosting about 140,000 visitors a year, supported by a dedicated staff of 14 and 120 volunteers, it’s one of the top attractions of Victoria. It has now become a National Heritage Site of Canada. Located just outside the downtown core, it’s easily reached by car,bus,cycle,taxi or walking. The story of the Dunsmuirs is long and complicated, but quite fascinating. For additional information, visit

This photo shows the main entrance to the castle, and was taken Oct.18, 2009, with a Fuji S100FS camera.

Featured in “A Home Somewhere..”
Featured in All Castles Around the World


  • JayneLogan
    JayneLoganover 5 years ago

    Oh I love this! Next time out to the coast ..this is on my must see list! Wonderful information too … Thanks George!

  • Hi Jayne,glad you liked it! You’ll love the place, it’s quite fabulous inside. I’ll post some interior pictures too. Allow yourself at least two hours to really see it, more if you want to go through all the historical records on display. Their web site tells some of the story, but only the high!

    – George Cousins

  • JayneLogan
    JayneLoganover 5 years ago

    I remember most when reading about it was the one level with a vast amount of stained glass windows .. I was going to ask you if you had any inside! LOL Great! Cheers! and thanks!

  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppover 5 years ago

    Excellent read, just love the old country style architecture here , excellent capture as well George

  • Thanks Larry, it’s quite an amazing place. The other brother,James, built Hatley Castle on a similar scale, it’s part of Royal Roads University out in the west end of Victoria. I’ll post something of it as well.

    – George Cousins

  • CraigsMom
    CraigsMomover 5 years ago

    Wow, what a stunning photo! A facinating place!

  • Hi again..thanks for your kind words, and glad you liked it. If you have time, read the material on the web site to get more of the story. It was too much to put in RB :)

    – George Cousins

  • Stan Wojtaszek
    Stan Wojtaszekover 5 years ago

    Shouldn’t have read the description. Thought this was a snap of your house. lol.
    Nice work and description, George ! :)

  • haha! I would NOT want the heating bill, or the upkeep! 4 floors of high ceilings,open plan,and hardwood everywhere! An amazing place if you had no regard for the cost of upkeep. Of course they didn’t have that worry. Glad you liked it,though. Read the website when you have a chance. Much more of the story there.

    – George Cousins

  • Mike Oxley
    Mike Oxleyover 5 years ago

    Beautiful shot and great write up, George. What a lovely building.

  • Good morning Mike, glad you liked it. If you have time, read that web site, there’s a lot of history and events that I couldn’t put on my posting, would have been way too long. Think you’d like the read.

    – George Cousins

  • Mike Oxley
    Mike Oxleyover 5 years ago

    Thanks, George. Will do when I get home. I’m at work at the moment!

  • toriyule
    toriyuleover 5 years ago

    beautiful capture, beautiful home

  • Good morning Tori, glad you liked this, I’ll post some of the inside rooms later on.

    – George Cousins

  • PhotosByG
    PhotosByGabout 5 years ago

    Congratulations! Your photo has been featured in “A Home somewhere…..”

    This photo was chosen because it was of a very high quality and it captured exactly the sort of work we are looking for in this group.

    Please keep up the great work and we hope you continue to add more of your excellent photographs to this group.

  • Hi Graham, very many thanks for the honour, greatly appreciated!

    – George Cousins

  • spiritgurl
    spiritgurlover 4 years ago

  • Very many thanks for your kindness..greatly appreciated!

    – George Cousins

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