Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, British Columbia


Unlike Europe, Canada comes up a little lacking when it comes to castles.

Craigdarroch Castle, Vicoria, B.C.

Not intended as a castle, but as a manor house for coal baron Robert Dunsmuir. Completed in 1890, and situated on 28 acres, it boasts 4 floors, many glass windows and much intricate wood work. Sadly, Robert passed away before completion, leaving the manor to his wife Joan, 3 daughters and 2 grandchildren.

We were fortunate on our visit day. It was during the mid week and also a rainy day. This meant that not too may other people would be in the view finder.

The first sight to greet you is the magnificent staircase. The impressive woodwork for the most part was milled in Chicago and shipped on five rail cars.

The large salon-double style drawing room would have been the main entertaining area of the home.

Mrs. Dunsmuir sitting room.

One of the many stained glass windows. This one in the library.

The dining room, with seating for 14. The fireplace has a bent-flue to allow a stained glass window. This feature is also in the library and breakfast room.

Just one of the landings in the grand staircase.

The main hall and the beginning of the grand staircase.

Craigdarroch Castle stretches over 2,000 square metres and houses 39 rooms. It is believed to have cost around $500,000 when first built. The construction includes granite from British Columbia, tiles from San Francisco and an oak staircase that was imported from Chicago. While the castle is still dressed in 1800s’ Victoria-era furnishings, it is known for its stunning stained glass designs and intricate interior woodwork.

The castle’s name, Craigdarroch, means “a rocky oak place” in Gaelic and its design lives up to that name. The exterior is made of beautiful gray granite while the interior is given a warm atmosphere through the extensive use of wood. During the time period, it was thought that being surrounded by artistic beauty, such as the decor in the castle, would lead to a better development of personality in those that lived there. (Canadian Traveller).

I would like to visit the castle again. I could not get my camera to the right settings, hence, the hue is off in some, and a bit grainy in others. I had more success with my iPhone. More practice needed. Cheers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two for the Price of One


Strathcona Provincial Park, located on Vancouver Island, is big. At 250,000 hectares, it was designated as a provincial park in 1911, and is the largest in British Columbia.

Within the park are several campgrounds, one of which is at Ralph River. So for a couple of days last week, my wife and I packed up the car and drove for over 3 hours to what turned out to be the most desirable campsite in the park.  

Little did we know, is that Wednesday was to be our best day weather wise. Thursday was wet and cool. After wandering around some of the shoreline of Buttle Lake, (named after John James Taylor Buttle, a surveyer and cartographer of the mid 1800’s), we decided to take a short drive to Mayra Falls. The pictures to follow are just before the final plummet to the lake.

The last time we were here, we walked out on these rocks, but not today; too wet and slippery.

On our way home Friday we stopped at Lupin Falls, just a short walk from the highway. Just like at Myra Falls, the rain had brought out all the hidden shades in the rock. This is an entirely different falls; not as much water, higher and in a much more lush setting.