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Hatley Castle

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What Wiki Says



Hatley Park National Historic Site is located in Colwood, British Columbia in Greater Victoria. It is the site of Hatley Castle and Royal Roads University (formerly the Royal Roads Military College). The historic site is home to trails through mature stands of first and second-growth forest, including large Douglas-fir and western red cedar.


Prior to European settlement, the area was used by the Coast Salish inhabitants as a source for food (berries and camas bulbs) and clothing (cedar bark). Settlers farmed this site until the early 1900s, when it was transformed into an elegant Edwardian estate.


In 1906, B.C.'s Lieutenant Governor, James Dunsmuir who was of Scottish ancestry, purchased the property and commissioned renowned Canadian architect Samuel Maclure to build a 40-room home in the Scottish baronial style, a Gothic revival style popular in the Edwardian period. The Dunsmuirs also created many beautiful formal gardens using the services of renowned American garden designers Brett and Hall. They named their estate "Hatley Park" in the tradition of the grand European private estates. The castle became a landmark and was home to the Dunsmuir family until the estate was sold to the Government of Canada.


At the outbreak of World War II, plans were made for King George VI, his wife Queen Elizabeth, and their two daughters, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, to reside in Canada. Hatley Castle was purchased by the federal government in 1940 for use as the King's royal palace, however, it was decided that having the Royal Family leave the UK at a time of war would be too big a blow to morale, and the family stayed in London.


When plans for the use of the castle as a royal residence fell through, the estate was converted into a naval training facility. It existed under a number of names, but from 1948 was known as Royal Roads Military College, named for the body of water which forms the entrance into Esquimalt Harbour from the Strait of Juan de Fuca, lying to the east of the facility. The college was closed in 1995 and subsequently leased to the Province of British Columbia. That same year, the castle and grounds were designated a national historic site by the Canadian government.


In September 1995, Royal Roads University was opened as a public, degree-granting university. It leases the campus from the Department of National Defence for $1 per year and assumes all stewardship responsibilities related to the site including the cost of site management, operations, heritage preservation and restoration, and educating the public about the site's history and natural attributes.



Appearances in TV and film



* Hatley Castle appears in the Smallville television series as Luthor Mansion, the estate belonging to Lex Luthor.

* The castle is the setting of the X-Men film series as Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. It was used as the mansion in the Made-For-TV movie Generation X, which is based on a comic that is a spin off of X-Men.

* It was used in the 1997 movie, Masterminds as Shady Glen School, a posh private elementary school in California.

* The castle was used in MacGyver. In the second episode of season 5, "The Legend of the Holy Rose, part 2", it is used as a hideout for the episode villain.

* In the TV series Seven Days, episode 9 of season 2,"Love and Other Disasters", the castle is used as a home for royal family and a place for royal wedding.

* In the series Poltergeist: The Legacy, Hatley Castle was the headquarter of the San Francisco legacy.

* Many scenes of Fierce People (2004) show the interior and exterior of Hatley castle. It was used as the stately home of the rich family clan of Ogden C. Osborne.

* The ending scenes of The Changeling (1980) were filmed inside Hatley Castle.






© 2009 Brandon Godfrey


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Taken on August 4, 2009