Hatley Castle (1906-08) Victoria, Canada
Scottish Baronial Style/Tudor Style
The Hatley Castle was commissioned by James Dunsmuir of coal fortune and Primier of British Columbia. It was built as a private home for him, his wife Laura, and their twelve children, nine of whom survived infancy. In 1920, James died, and after Laura’s death in 1937, the house was left with the caretaker for three years before becoming a Naval Training Establishment in 1940. Dunsmuir’s oldest son was busy galavanting around the world in a drunken stupor and his second son, James “Boy” Dunsmuir, died in the sinking of the Lusitania. Most of his daughters married into prominent British families and the one who stayed at home died just six months after her mother.
During World War II, the property was planned as a safe house for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, though the royal family decided to stay in London.
The grounds became the Royal Canadian Naval College in 1942, the Royal Roads Military College in 1948, and then in 1995, the Royal Roads University, as it remains today. The main home serves as the administrative center. (x)
"That’s one of the ghost stories in the castle … that after James got the news [about Boy’s death] he was so depressed he played this one record over and over again, Where is My Wandering Boy? That’s the song some people have heard in the castle where there’s obviously no one there.” (x)
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