The Craigdarroch Castle Estate
In 1882 Robert Dunsmuir began purchasing property starting with 5 acres along Fort Street. He spent the next 5 years acquiring other parcels of land that would eventually make up the 28-acre estate. The main entrance gates were situated at the intersection of Fort Street and what is now Joan Crescent and stretched south to what is now Rockland Avenue.
With the Castle nearing completion, Robert’s sons hired Scottish immigrant Hugh Campbell to develop the estate grounds. He confided in his diary that he was told to do as he thought best, as economically as possible – but do it right.
With those instructions he set about building the terraces, artificial lake and other items in his plans. Once complete the estate would have provided a visitor with numerouspaths to stroll along; beside quiet ponds, streams and through meadows.
Today, visitors to The Castle are able to walk around the remaining 1.75 acres of the original estate and through the Rockland neighbourhood which developed over many years out of the 1909 estate sale and auction.
The Castle grounds underwent extensive restoration in 2009/10 and as a result are more accessible to visitors, so leave a little time to relax outside before moving on to your next destination.