Home Museums, Historical Sites and Other Tourist Attractions Victoria’s Craigdarroch Castle Museum

Victoria’s Craigdarroch Castle Museum

Craigdarroch Castle

Craigdarroch Castle is a historic home and museum designed like a castle. It’s located in a posh neighbourhood close to downtown Victoria.

This striking stone mansion is today a National Historic Site and museum that’s open to the public. It has been around for over 130 years!


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Castle Location | Hours and Admission | Suggestions | Other Information


About Craigdarroch Castle

Built between 1887 and 1890, Craigdarroch Castle was built for the wealthy coal baron Robert Dunsmuir who died a year before its completion. Dunsmuir was the wealthiest man in Western Canada at the end of the 19th century, and Craigdarroch Castle reflects that wealth.

Designed in the “Richardsonian Romanesque” style, the building is as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside. The castle’s oak paneling and exquisite furnishings are especially stunning. It also has almost 40 rooms covering over 20,000 square feet of interior space.

Craigdarroch Castle is probably of interest to anyone who likes history, museums, architecture, castles and art. It’s an old building, though, built before the age of elevators, and so not wheelchair accessible.

The castle features antiques and valuable art, which makes it of special interest to most visitors. The building, however, was a house, not a medieval castle. As a result, don’t expect to see suits of armour, swords, dungeons or princesses as you would in European castles!


Craigdarroch Interior Furnishings


Castle Location

Craigdarroch Castle is located at 1050 Joan Crescent just a short drive from downtown Victoria. It’s in a fairly posh residential neighbourhood not far from the Lieutenant Governor’s House on Rockland Avenue.


Hours and Admission

As of December, 2023, admission rates to Craigdarroch Castle are approximately as follows:

  • Adults – $20.60
  • Seniors (65+) – $19.60
  • Students (18+ and with valid ID) – $18.50
  • Youth (ages 13 to 17) – $14.80
  • Children (ages 6 to 12) – $10.00
  • Little folks (ages 5 and under) – free admission when with a paying adult

The castle is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. It is closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

(Note: Rates, hours and other details are subject to change.)


Hatley Castle
Hatley Castle at Royal Roads University


Suggestions & Other Information

Below are some tips to help you make the most of your visit to Victoria’s various castles.

TIP #1: If you like castles, then also consider visiting Hatley Castle at Royal Roads University. Hatley Castle is just as impressive on the exterior as Craigdarroch Castle, although not quite as ornate and fancy inside. Hatley Castle also has a highly recommended beautiful garden (although not so much in winter).

TIP #2: If you struggle walking unassisted for long periods of time, Craigdarroch Castle might not be the place to visit for you. As noted above, there are no elevators, and, due to the smallness of some of the halls and doorways, there are no walkers permitted. There are also a fair number of stairs to walk up.

TIP #3: Craigdarroch Castle is in a fancy residential neighbourhood. Either before or after your visit to the castle, go for a stroll around the area. Located at 1401 Rockland Avenue, Government House is less than four blocks away and home to British Columbia’s Lieutenant Governor who is King Charles III’s representative to the province.

TIP #4: Government House is also a stately and castle-like structure that’s worth checking out. You can go inside that heritage building too, but only on guided tours on certain dates and at specially designated times. The building is beautiful to look at on the outside any day though, and the grounds are pretty, open to the public and free.


Craigdarroch Castle


Other Information

Note about admission and permitted items: Craigdarroch Castle is an important heritage site and the building itself is a work of art and much of its contents are valuable. As a result, no food, liquids or pets are permitted inside. Stiletto high heel shoes are also prohibited.

Also for the safety of the building’s contents, backpacks must be left with the cashier or worn on the owner’s front. And finally, because of the narrow spaces, abundance of stairs, lack of an elevator and valuable hardwood floors, large baby carriers, strollers and walkers are also not allowed.

For more information about the museum see the Castle‘s website.

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