950 s/n / 95 AP / $140 retail – Artist’s Proof 55 SN $195
Image size: 15 1/4″ x 21 1/2″
“Dundurn Castle ca 1835 ”
Architect: Robert Wetherall
An 18000 square foot mansion, set amidst acres of lush parklands overlooking Burlington Bay and Hamilton Harbor, Dundurn Castle stands as a majestic sentinel at the city’s entrance.
Built by Sir Allan Napier MacNab, Dundurn Castle was one of the earliest homes in North America to be designed in the Italianate villa style set into a picturesque landscape. Sir Allan MacNab, Canada’s prime minister from 1854-56, owned the castle up until his death in 1862. It was then that the castle and the entire contents were put up for public auction to settle his accumulated debts. Eventually reclaimed by the City of Hamilton, the castle was restored and refurbished to it’s former glory as part of the city’s centennial project in 1967. Calls were put out to antique dealers across North America and England as well as to the local community who responded by donating back to the castle many pieces of the furniture purchased by their forefathers at auction.
Detailed accounts from MacNab’s daughter Sophia’s diary enabled a restoration crew to restore to authenticity the room settings. Many carpet patterns were remade using samples found in a box in an old barn while others, such as in the dining room, were made using period samples from the archives at Kidderminster in England, true to the Brussels weave of the day. Paint colours and scraps of the original wall coverings were uncovered, trapped beneath the floorboards.
Lighting fixtures throughout the castle are gasoliers, mostly english with some having been located as far away as India.
Now a national historic site and museum open to the public, Dundurn Castle remains a proud symbol of our area’s rich heritage.