Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hatley Castle...a Victoria treasure.

The day was sunny and mild and we decided to take our house guests out for a bit of a wander.
I had mentioned Hatley Castle as a possible destination to Mr. HB and he agreed.

Hatley Castle was commissioned by the wealthy entrepreneur James Dunsmuir and was completed in 1908.
The links here will give you all the details that you might want to know.

I took over 100 pictures and have whittled them down to just a few.
I hope that you enjoy your virtual tour!

look at the details in this downspout!

Granite is used extensively in the construction.

The grounds are beautiful.

Views of the ocean beyond the terrace.

The Italian Garden

Formal plantings and a traditional layout.

A very gnarled old wisteria.

a massive trunk!

I have seen the mauve wisteria blooming in the summer 
not only is it stunningly beautiful
the scent is intoxicating!

The garden is showing off her great "bones" 
when the flowers and trees are in bloom it is a riot of colour, scent and breathtaking in it's beauty.

Weddings are very popular here and you can see that the architecture and grounds are perfect for staging photos.

I can visualize and bride and groom standing in this spot.

The terrace is to the left of this figure, the croquet lawn below
ocean beyond in the distance.

Witch Hazel

The Japanese Garden is exquisite...

The water features play a big role in this part of the garden.

Lush green grass rims the wee path that snakes along the water's edge.

A pair of Mallard ducks are visible to the right of the bronze heron sculpture.

These are fish ladders that allow fish to go from the lake to the large pond.

You can see how the ladder works here
the fish can swim up and rest above the slat until they get enough energy to make another burst to the next slat.
The moss is such a lovely shade of green.

These smaller water channels were full and the sound of the rushing water was melodic.

Charming bridge one walks over the rivulet of water to the other side.
The arching details are all in keeping with the other Japanese themed structures.

Around the pond the path was made of large stepping stones.

Imagine how peaceful it would be to sit here and relax.
The sun was warm and the pond flat calm.
Mallard ducks were the only things stirring...

The Japanese Garden is heavily planted with rhododendrons and flowering cherry and plum trees.
A future visit will be planned for April or May so that we can see the garden in all it's glory.

Lime Hellebores blooming near the castle foundation.

A view taken from the terrace
the croquet lawn is below the terrace.

I can just imagine an afternoon tea on the terrace!

I will post more Hatley Castle photos soon.
The greenhouse and walled garden among others.

This is as close to Downton Abbey that I have found in our neck of the woods.
What did you think about that season finale?
I wonder what the next season will bring for Lady Mary?

Be Well
until next time...


  1. It's so Scottish looking, it looks just like all the turn of the century houses round here. I don't like granite, unless it's sunny it's a very depressing stone, Aberdeen is known as The Granite City, my heart always sinks there.

    1. It was commissioned by a Scotsman Dunsmuir and designed by the local Scottish architect Samuel MacLure so your observations are spot on Tabitha!

  2. Those gardens are stunning! I could spend all day wandering about there. Thanks for sharing these lovely pictures.

  3. We live not too, too far from the castle and enjoy weekend walks on the grounds. Did you know that it is the mansion featured on the TV series 'Arrow'? The Great Dane went to military college there in the late 60's and early 70's and shares his memories of obstacle courses, working in the gardens and marching on the parade square, which is now a parking lot. Hatley Castle is a treasure.

    1. I loved it when The Victoria Flower and Garden show was held there for a few years. The venue was perfect for us green thumbs.
      I saw many photos of the graduates in the Hatley Castle Museum, I must have glanced at The Great Dane...I'll look closer next time and see if I can spot him.

  4. I loved the beautiful gardens. Like one of your previous followers I find the look of granite buildings a bit cold & dull. I think living in France and seeing so many beautiful Chateaux has spoilt me.

  5. I love Hatley Castle. Such a beautiful setting. Our eldest daughter's wedding photos were taken in the grounds there - in the Italian Garden and amongst the blooming rhododendrons (in May). What a great place to take your visitors.

  6. Stunning photos . . . I would love a visit there to look and see and walk the grounds! So gorgeous!

    Downton sure left me wondering . . . I am sure next January there will be more to add to the trauma and drama . . . and hopefully . . .

  7. Love it! I haven't been there in a couple of years.

    It was also Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Children in the X-Men movies. Which means Hugh Jackman was there :)

  8. Thank-you for sharing these lovely photo's. I myself was last there a couple of years ago for a friend's wedding....it was held in the Japanese gardens :)
    Maggie Smith was interviewed on 60 Minutes this past Sunday and she had me laughing. I'm looking forward to see her film "Quartet"

  9. Beautiful, moody, and very atmospheric. It's quite dramatic. Thanks for sharing the photos as it's all new to me.

  10. The Japanese garden is a delightful and well maintained who owns/lives there now?

    Think the downspout would look more natural in black. Thank you for the tour.Ida

  11. The Castle is used by Royal Roads University for several months during the year and it is also a National Heritage Site. I am not too sure that anyone lives in the castle now...maybe a caretaker lives in one of the outbuildings.

  12. Your photos are lovely. I took a meditation course at Royal Roads a couple of years ago and visited the gardens and the museum. It is beautiful and peaceful (except for the peacocks.)

  13. Quel magnifique endroit !
    On se croirais en angleterre et que se doit etres beau au printemps la glycine toute fleurie doit etres magnifique
    Bien cordialement

  14. We went here about eight years ago and loved it. I really appreciate these beautiful pictures. We had an amazing ferry ride from the mainland.

    I think I would be uncomfortable with servants. I have not had anyone clean my home yet. I suppose I would love it once I was used to it.

    Thanks to everyone for being quiet about Downton Abbey. It is so thoughtful of you all. I finally saw episodes four through seven yesterday. Whew! I was behind.

  15. Beautiful! It's like having your own Downton Abbey in Victoria.
    Is it far from where you live? If I had known about this place last time we visited Victoria, I would certainly have gone.
    Next time for sure!

  16. It is about a 30 minute drive from our bungalow. There is lots of traffic out in that part of town and it must have been quite rural in 1908 and a fairly long carriage ride from town back then.

  17. Looks like an interesting place! I will have to check it out the next time I am on the west coast!

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