Craigdarroch Castle’s garden party celebrates renovation project

Free outdoor garden party for the public on Aug. 13 will celebrate the end of $750,000 worth of restoration and refurbishment work on the castle grounds

Laura Torbet

Strolling minstrels, jugglers, the lilting strains of live music, ladies and gentlemen partaking of cake and sipping tea – the decadence of the Victorian era will soon come alive on the newly refurbished south lawn of Craigdarroch Castle.

The free outdoor garden party for the public on Aug. 13 will celebrate the end of $750,000 worth of restoration and refurbishment work on the castle grounds, which lasted two years.

Now, when visitors arrive, they will be transported back in time when they pass through replica four-metre-high sandstone and iron gateposts marking the original entrance to the estate where Fort Street and Joan Crescent meet.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Elisabeth Hazell, assistant manger of castle operations and development. “When you come up on Fort Street, you can actually see them and it gives you a much better sense of what it was like to pull up to the castle (by carriage) back in the 1890s.”

The effort and expense were worth the results, which have captured the former grandeur of the Dunsmuir mansion, built in 1890, said Hazell.

If Dorothy Laundy, one of the national historic site’s more active champions who died in 2006, was still alive “she would have been absolutely thrilled,” Hazell said.

Laundry’s family will be at the garden party for a plaque dedication that will honour their loved one’s contribution.

“It literally was her dying wish to have this project completed,” said Hazell.

Laundy, a long-time volunteer and past president of the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society, left an endowment to help pay for the grounds to be restored. The remainder of the work was paid for through museum admission fees.

The 78,000-square-foot south lawn today echoes how it looked in the past, complete with a huge lawn esplanade with walking paths and garden benches. The architect’s original plans were used for authenticity.

“Now it’s just really elegant,” Hazell said.

The free outdoor public garden party happens Aug. 13 from 2 to 5 p.m. Craigdarroch Castle is located at 1050 Joan Cres.

 

 

Just Posted

Open house seeks public input on proposed lease for piece of Victoria High property

Open house takes place at Vic High on Nov. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Colwood house helps homeless veterans get back on their feet

Cockrell House has helped more than 100 people since it was established in 2009

Son of Second World War veteran returns to Norway to see site of rescue, repatriation

Six-man crew crash lands in Nazi occupied territory, only known instance of entire crew surviving

Colwood veteran recalls harrowing experience during Second World War

The 95 year old one of 32 survivors after German sub sinks warship

Legions help keep the memories alive

Legions offer many services for the community

VIDEO: Pups in the pool: West Shore rec centre’s Dog Swim a success

West Shore Parks and Recreation goes to the dogs Sunday night

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Devils strike early, hang on for 2-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver now 0-8-3 in last 11 games versus New Jersey

Most Read