Get true Victorian experience at the Craigdarroch Castle, known as the “bonanza castle” is located in Victoria, BC and is a National Historic Site of Canada due to its Victorian-era Scottish Baronial style. Four levels of Castle filled with attractive stained glass windows, complex woodwork and lavish furnishing, as well as well-preserved clothes and accessories help you dive into that age.
Attractions around the Craigdarroch Castle:
Craigdarroch Castle is located just within a couple of kilometers from downtown of Victoria, which is about 30 minutes’ walk. Nevertheless, it’s located within just a few minutes’ walk to other popular destinations:
- Government House of British Columbia – to visit the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of BC and Victoria of the Canadian monarch.
- Art Gallery of Greater Victoria – to learn and enjoy about local art, usually presented by Emily Carr collections and various exhibitions of Asian collections.
About the Craigdarroch Castle
The Craigdarroch Castle is an awesome structure with fascinating history. It is a massive four story building with a grand staircase and no elevators, so be prepared to work out! From the highest point which is 87 steps up, you can see amazing view of the ocean and Island.
The Craigdarroch Castle is operated by a nonprofit charity Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society, which provide self-guided tour in various languages such as:
- Simplified and Traditional Chinese,
You could easily spend a couple of hours there and not notice the time go by as the Castle has 39 rooms and over 25,000 square feet. One of the bedrooms has been transformed into an information center, where you will learn the history of the castle and the Dunsmuir family. The Castle weaves a fascinating tale of an intriguing family – their achievements, their relationships and even their quirk.
This is the best place in BC to get an idea of how people lived in the 1800s. Craigdarroch Castle is a must see!
Admission seems to be fair:
(As of January 2015)
Students $8.95 (13+ with Valid ID)
Children $5.00 (6-12)
*Children 5 and under are free when accompanied by a paying adult.
History of the Craigdarroch Castle
Craigdarroch Castle has a long fascinating history that can be easily divided into eras of occupation, which are:
- The Dunsmuir era: When construction of the Castle started in the 1800s, and was the residence of Robert and Joan Dunsmuir a wealthy coal baron. When Robert died, his sons Alexander and James took over the building.
- The Military Hospital Era: After the passing away of Joan Dunsmuir too, her daughters sold the Castle to local real estate developer Griffith Hughes. Over that time the castle change owners several times, but was then lost to the Bank of Montreal due to unpaid debts of the owners. The building was renovated to suit military hospital needs.
- Victoria CollegeEra: Thereafter in about 1920s the Craigdarroch Military Hospital would be closed, and Dr. Edward Burness Paul founder of Victoria College grasped the opportunity to utilize the Craigdarroch Castle as the Victoria College facility.
- Victoria Conservatory of MusicEra: The heritage society was established who became the operators of the facility, the society then made the Victoria Conservatory of Music tenants of the Castle.
- Museum Era: Again the Victoria Conservatory of Music ran out of space and vacated the Castle. The Craigdarroch Castle has been left with the operators since then and converted into Museum, where we can learn more about this fascinating building and its history.
You can reach the Craigdarroch Castle with the following details:
1050 Joan Crescent
Victoria, BC V8S 3L5
Open Daily 10:00am – 4:30pm
June 15th – September 6th | Open Daily 9:00am – 7:00pm
Closed December 25, 26 and January 1
Travelling to Craigdarroch Castle
If you would like to drive to Craigdarroch Castle, there is free parking on the site. As well, as
free 2-hours street parking on Joan Crescent.
If you prefer to use the bus, please check the BC Transit schedule here.