Craigdarroch Castle (Black Press Media File Photo)

Craigdarroch Castle (Black Press Media File Photo)

Victoria’s Craigdarroch Castle kitchen area being restored to pre-1919 state

The castle’s $288,000 restoration is funded by the province and B.C. Heritage

Thanks to funding from the province and Heritage B.C., Victoria’s historical Craigdarroch Castle will have its kitchen and pantry restored to a state that hasn’t been seen in more than 100 years.

The $288,000 in joint funding will help bring the castle back to how it was during the Dunsmuir era, before the kitchen and pantry rooms were radically altered in 1919 with the opening of the Craigdarroch Military Hospital, according to a news release.

Walls, windows, moulding, floors and mechanical elements such as the laundry chute and the intercom panel were all removed in the past.

The release said the restoration will include replacing the shutters, adding new wainscotting and mouldings around windows and doors, repairing and painting plaster surfaces and installing flooring.

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The castle’s food preparation area will be returned to the Dunsmuir era, while abiding by the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada.

“Bringing the kitchen back to the Dunsmuir era presents a powerful opportunity to broaden the visitor experience,” said John Hughes, Craigdarroch Castle executive director.

“A kitchen is a place that attracts us all and has a universal language.”

Hughes said 86 per cent of the castle’s visitors surveyed expressed a desire to experience the kitchen and wanted to learn more about Dunsmuir era servant activities and food preparation.

Plans to restore the kitchen have been around since 2017, when the museum gift shop was moved from the kitchen space to the visitor centre.


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