Tea time at the castle (and a little local history)


“No one knows what makes the soul wake up so happy! Maybe a dawn breeze has blown the veil from the face of God
.
“- Rumi

This fine prince in his radiant cloak was out for a stroll on the castle grounds at Royal Roads.

This castle was  built in 1906-07 by the son of Coal Baron Robert Dunsmuir, who made his fortune on Vancouver Island in the late 1800’s. Robert Dunsmuir first built Craigdarroch Castle (1890) on the Fairfield hilltop because he wanted to bring a touch of Scotland to the New World for his homesick and beloved wife, Joan. They had  become the nouveau riche on the  island and of course slightly  looked down upon by any true aristocrats from the British Empire that happened to live in the prosperous and growing town of Fort Victoria (such as the O’Reilly’s from Pt. Ellice House who came from an old Irish family).

Hatley castle was designed by architect James MacLure and remained in the Dunsmuir family until 1937.   Newer buildings were added on the grounds in a 40’s style architecture.  It became a military academy, remaining so for many years and was  finally turned into a University with ties to the Armed Forces.  The acres of grounds and gardens are  peaceful and beautiful.  They begin on the portico in the upper rose gardens behind the castle and have paths that lead down to the woodland gardens,  the rolling lawns with huge oak and cedar trees, Japanese gardens, and on  to the  swan filled lagoon that looks out onto the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  There are gazebos by the ponds and streams for visitors to picnic and have tea .

Because Victorians are very fond of ghosts as well as gardens, paranormal societies  carried out investigations and have declared Hatley Castle haunted much to the delight of all would be ghost busters  and those who communicate in other dimensions etc.

Craigdarroch castle is here:

and the haunted story of Hatley Castle is here

Play The Bonny Swans by Loreena McKennitt

My Lagoon image was chosen for “Around the World in 10 Photos.

Link to  Ghost stories of Hatley Castle

39 Comments Add yours

  1. Ross Duncan says:

    That looks like a very special spot there, lovely post

    Like

    1. thanks for dropping by for tea!! 🙂

      Like

  2. I LIKE this post, I have two blogs; Campanulladellaanna and Passion dew. Both follow your blog, so I can not miss your post. Wonderful sharing between the blogger. Have a nice day!

    Like

    1. thanks so much for the double follow!! Thanks for coming by and your lovely comments!

      Like

  3. Your photos and writing are very atmospheric. The castle is very Scottish! 🙂

    Like

    1. thanks so much for stopping by and for your comment!!!

      Like

  4. Peter Nena says:

    First an outstanding picture of a peacock . . . and it occurred to me how you must be an excellent photographer. Then Hatley Castle and it really does look haunted. Why do haunted houses look the same in the photos? I wonder. Must be the spirits and the ghouls. These are remarkable pictures, Cybele. Very delightful to view.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you like them!! Thanks for your lovely comment!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Leanne Cole says:

    That is definitely a place I would love to visit, looks fantastic. I love the part about the ghosts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes, it is beautiful. Our history on the west coast is not long but it is colourful. I love ghosts too!! Thanks for the visit.

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  6. Beautiful history about the castle! I love the peacock photo as well 🙂

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    1. thanks Caitlin, I loved him too!!

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  7. lizziegudkov says:

    Amazing photos and, oh gosh, the array of stories one could write just by looking at these and reading the bit of history you shared with us! 🙂

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    1. thanks Lizzie. It is full of stories- some true!!! 🙂 The Dunsmuir desendants had a rather sad ending.

      Like

  8. joshi daniel says:

    the peacock one is stunning 🙂

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    1. thanks Josh. He certainly is!!

      Like

  9. Beautiful pictures and an interesting slice of history, wonderful!

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    1. thanks for your visit Victoria!

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  10. Wonderful photos and I loved the stories you shared to go with them. I get up there every few years, but now I will have to make a point of seeing the castle.

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    1. thank you Naomi!! Yes it is lovely!! They used to say Victoria was more English than England lol!! Lots of quaintness still!!

      Like

  11. Fabulous photo collages! Thank you very much for your visit

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    1. thanks Anna ( shortened your name!!) and you’re welcome too.

      Like

  12. Mustang.Koji says:

    …and this serves as a military school now? Wow.

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    1. it retains ties with the armed forces but is actually a public university now. Prior it was an officer’s training and university. Thanks for your visit!

      Like

  13. aishasoasis says:

    Gorgeous photos and wonderful info on the history of the castle. My husband immigrated to canada from egypt and he loves vancouver, I hope we get to visit there someday, I’d love to see this!

    Like

    1. 🙂 I was just updating by adding that wonderful song by Loreena McKennitt “the bonny swans!” Yes, I read about your husband living on the west coast of Canada!! It is beautiful but lots of rain! You would love the scenery. I also love his part of the world (and yours). You “might” enjoy my desert tale whenever you have time. “Tales of the Caravanserai.”

      Like

      1. aishasoasis says:

        I dont know that song, but I love loreena mckennitt, shes amazing! I’m very sure I will love you story, too, I’ll look for it right away!

        Like

  14. lauramacky says:

    That peacock is AMAZING! Lovely images Hanna. They are SO you and that’s a good thing!

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    1. Thank you Laura!!! The peacock’s adornment is so incredibly beautiful but he needs singing lessons!! Ouch! They were in “fine” vocal form there Easter Sunday.

      Like

  15. My mother has a wonderful sepia picture of one of my Victorian ancestors, who was a spiritualist, with some ghostly ectoplasm behind him during a seance. I can’t say whether the picture is genuine or not, as there were a lot of fake ones taken at the time. I do wonder what a photographer was doing at the seance in the first place! Quite a few of my ancestors lived in mansions and stately homes, which were decent creepy settings for hauntings. Let me add, that I most definitely don’t live in a mansion.

    Like

    1. oh that’s something! Yes the old ectoplasm photos!!
      I love old photos of all kinds- ghosts caught in a moment of time and recorded on purpose. I believe many ghost sightings to be similarly recorded but not deliberately (by us)! Old photos evoke such a feeling of mystery and a longing to know their life and story. I would have loved to live in a mansion farmhouse but yes, I sadly live in a little row house type condo and am only haunted by the overflowing storage room in the downstairs that calls to be sorted out.

      Like

      1. There’s always a room like that in houses, unless the occupants have nothing better to do than cleaning and tidying.

        I’ve promised myself to have a big sort out and spring clean after I’ve submitted my novel to agents. It’s a good way of channeling my nervous energy whilst waiting on their responses. Better than having a nervous breakdown!

        Like

  16. Very mystical images.

    Like

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