after our walk around downtown on monday afternoon, we went up to the stunning craigdarroch castle, a national historic site, the original estate is said to have been over 28 acres, but now is sandwiched right in the middle of a residential area in victoria! i’ve lived in victoria for nearly 4 years, living just blocks from this amazing mansion and not seen it, so i’m so glad that tracy and her husband ryan wanted to see it!
the house was completed in 1890 by robert dunsmuir and various members of his large family lived in the lavishly decorated rooms, spanning four floors in the mansion. After robert dunsmuir’s wife joan passed away in 1908, the house has been used as a military hospital, a college and a music conservatory! (of course ryan says when he sees the exterior of the house pictured above left – “i could climb that” and of course my reply “of course you ‘could’ dear” ;))
the chandeliers, the stained glass windows, the intricate wood-panneling on nearly every wall, the silverware! the interior of the house has been immaculately decorated (and recreated by the historical society) to give a nearly overwhelming feeling of decadence and luxury from the victorian era. i loved seeing a few pieces that i recognized from my grandparents houses (including a fireplace fan similar to this one that i was lucky enough to inherit – now i just have to figure out what i’ll use it for ;))
i definitely found a lot of creative inspiration from the clothing and decoration of victorian living that was displayed throughout the mansion. the photographs, the infusion of natural history, the colours and the rich textures; the vintage-lover inside of me was in heaven! i just want to go antiquing now!
the wood-panneling covering all the walls in the main entrance and the main staircase was UNreal! a must-see in person!
another feature i really loved was the wood shutters that were on nearly every window in the mansion! on some windows they could be moved up and down the length of the window and some of the shutters had small inset shutters! they looked SO well-made and so professional! i’d love to have a set for my windows!
it was actually really fun being a tourist in my own city – ryan and i need to do more local sightseeing, so we can really experience some of the history that victoria has to offer! heheh only a few months before i move to vancouver… better late than never i suppose! 😉