In the 1880’s and 90’s architecture a Romanesque revival was underway that was influencing architects of the time. Leading the charge was American architect H.H. Richardson. What later became known as the “Richardsonian Romanesque” style can be seen throughout Craigdarroch Castle’s construction.
This very free, revival style incorporates 11th and 12th century southern French, Spanish and Italian Romanesque characteristics. It emphasizes clear, strong picturesque massing, round-headed “Romanesque” arches, often springing from clusters of short squat columns, recessed entrances, richly varied rustication, boldly blank stretches of walling contrasting with bands of windows, and cylindrical towers with conical caps embedded in the walling.
This style of building also imposed a great burden on the interior where close attention to detail was required in order to minimize the foreboding effects of the substantial construction. The Castle’s interior oak panelling was fabricated by the A.H. Andrews Co. of Chicago. Their attention to detail gives the interior of Craigdarroch a warmth throughout and many of the rooms incorporate exotic woods such as walnut, jarra, rosewood, maple, holly, and oak.
Robert and Joan Dunsmuir had two sons, eight daughters and plenty of exploits. The Castle weaves a fascinating tale of this intriguing family – their achievements, their relationships and even their quirks.
Built by coal baron Robert Dunsmuir during the reign of Queen Victoria and now a National Historic Site, Craigdarroch Castle has been meticulously restored, giving visitors a glimpse of privileged life in the 1890s.
We are open daily from 10am – 4:30pm, with extended hours from June 15th to September 6th (9am – 7pm). (Please note that we are closed December 25th, 26th and January 1st)