Eerie Photos Of A 120-Year-Old Stone Castle Built For A Canadian Coal Baron

craigdarroch castle, canada

Photo: Alison Park-Douglas

Castles seem like the stuff of myths. But Victoria, British Columbia is home to a real life castle built for the family of a coal tycoon, Robert Dunsmuir.Construction began on the structure, called Craigdarroch Castle, in 1887 and was completed in 1890. Dunsmuir commissioned the building thinking the venue would be the perfect place to hold wedding for two of his daughters.

But Dunsmuir never saw his dream realised, because he passed away in April 1889 before the construction was complete.

The will of Robert Dunsmuir caused great debate within the family. His wife, Joan, inherited the estate and lived there until she too passed away years later.

After Joan died, Craigdarroch was sold and became a military hospital and later became a college.

The castle once sat on 28 acres of land, but today sits on about 1.75 acres, and features a library, a breakfast room, at least seven different types of wood inside: walnut, jarra, rosewood, maple, holly, and oak.

traveller and photographer Alison Park-Douglas was kind enough to share her castle photos with us.

Architect Warren Heywood Williams of Portland, Oregon designed the castle.

It has a red-slate roof made from rocks produced by a quarry near the Vermont/New York border.

The castle incorporates revival style with 11th and 12th century southern French, Spanish and Italian Romanesque characteristics.

In 1979, when the castle was vacated, it became a functioning historical museum.

About 140,000 people visit the castle each year.

The artifacts inside the house were re-acquired by the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society, or purchased because they were of a similar era.

Visitors to the castle have their shoes cleaned before entering to ensure the carpets and floors do not wear.

Maps are available for a self-guided tour.

The house is four stories.

The castle is set in a suburban neighbourhood.

Most of the walls either have wood panels or are painted deep primary colours.

The castle is more than 20,000 square feet.

The house also hosts certain theatre productions.

The snake is an interesting decor touch.

An old fashion men's and women's bathroom sign.

There is a lot of taxidermy in the house.

The house has leaded stained glass windows.

The touches on the crown moulding make the home seem very luxurious.

It's rumoured the house cost $500,000 at the time it was built.

If you really fall in love with the castle, you can rent it for business meetings or private functions.

When you rent the house, you can invite up to 200 guests.

Outside, all the gardens are being restored as they originally were.

There are 39 rooms in the castle.

The details in the house really are outstanding.

The castle is just a short walk from downtown harbour.

Want to just buy your own castle?

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