Dundurn Castle is a historic Neoclassical architecture castle situated on York Boulevard in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada . The castle was completed in 1835 and it took 3 years and $175,000.00 to be finished . Dundurn Castle is currently owned by the Hamilton City who purchased it in 1900 for $50,000 but the City has spent nearly $3 million renovating the site to make 42 of the original 72 rooms open to the public . The rooms have been restored to the year 1855 when MacNab was at the height of his career. Costumed interpreters guide visitors through the home, illustrating daily life from the 1850s.
What to Visit at Dundurn Castle
Dundurn Castle was the magnificent home of Sir Allan Napier MacNab, one of Canada’s first premiers. Experience life in a grand country home for the MacNab family and the servants working below stairs.
Dundurn Castle is located on a height of land known as Burlington Heights. During the War of 1812, the British Army established a military post at the site. Sir Allan MacNab later incorporated elements of the post into the construction of Dundurn Castle during the 1830’s.
Leave time to browse in the Museum Gift Shop, featuring Canadian handmade crafts, souvenirs and special gifts. Enjoy a visit to the Hamilton Military Museum and the restored Kitchen Garden, all located in Dundurn Park .
The museum includes the War of 1812, the Rebellions of 1837, the Boer War, World War I, World War II and the role of women in the military. Artifacts include uniforms, medals, weapons, photographs and other military memorabilia. The museum also features a library with materials about Canadian military history, which is open by appointment. Dundurn Park and its associated green spaces are favourites for wedding portraits. The Cockpit Theatre, occasionally housed outdoor events and dramas.
There is a Mystery building at Dundurn Park, just east of Dundurn Castle and no one really knows the purpose for which it was built. Some say that it may have been a theatre, a laundry, a boat-house, an office, or a chapel for Sir Allan’s Roman Catholic wife. Urban legend has it that many underground tunnels were built, leading from the Castle to various parts of the estate and one of the entrances was through the Mystery building. This building may have also been used as a cockfighting ring .
The castle is now designated as a National Historic Site , even a Strathspey for bagpipes was composed in honour of Dundurn Castle. It definitely worths a visit if you are in the area .