Craigdarroch Castle
Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria, British Columbia, is a historic, Victorian-era Châteauesque mansion comprising 39 rooms and over 20,000 square feet (1,900 m 2). It was constructed in the 1890s as a family residence for the wealthy coal baron Robert Dunsmuir and his wife Joan. Robert died in April 1889, more than a year before construction on the castle was completed. His sons Alexander and James took over the role of finishing the castle after his death. The initial architect of the castle, Warren Williams, also died before completion of the castle. His work was taken over by his associate, Arthur L. Smith, in 1890. James Dunsmuir also commissioned the construction of Victoria's second castle; Hatley Castle located in Colwood, British Columbia. The four-story Craigdarroch Castle still has lavish furnishings from the 1890s and is known for its stained-glass and intricate woodwork. The Castle is currently owned by the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society, which is a private non-profit society, and is open to the public. The castle is a tourist attraction, and receives 150,000 visitors a year.

Movie location
The castle has been used in such films as Little Women (1994), Spooky House (2000) and Cats and Dogs (2001).

Theatre venue
Since 2000, the castle has hosted a series of site-specific theatrical productions, including The Fall of the House of Usher , H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds , a Sherlock Holmes adaptation, a revue of Shakespearean love scenes, I Might Be Edgar Allan Poe , The Mysterious Mr Love , The Coming of Mr. Pine , The Great Love of Queen Victoria, and The Picture of Dorian Gray in 2008. An original adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was slated for 2009. The Importance of Being Earnest was shown in 2010.

The home had six main eras of occupation:
  • The Dunsmuir era (1890-1908)
  • The Military Hospital Era (1919-1921)
  • Victoria College Era (1921-1946)
  • Victoria School Board Office Era (1946-1968)
  • Victoria Conservatory of Music Era (1969-1979)
  • Museum Era (1979-Present)

Building Activity

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