Larnach’s Castle, New Zealand’s Only Castle.

Larnach’s CastleBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I’ve recently been curating a few collections which has taken me across images from multiple years of work. Some of the images have recently been published, others have not. As I came across images I’d forgotten about, I decided they deserved a repost and some extra air time. 

Larnach’s Castle

New Zealand’s only castle continues to remain one of Dunedin’s highest ranked tourist attractions. The extensive and expansive property holds a commanding position on the peninsula and as impressive as it is during the day, it is equally as spooky at night. Here are some facts to get you thinking:

Land was purchased in 1870 and construction started in 1871. 

Originally the Castle was completed in 1874 with additions continuing until 1887.

It took more than 200 workmen over three years to build the outer shell of Larnach’s Castle.

It took master craftsmen from Europe 12 years to complete the interior of the castle.

Building materials for the Castle were shipped to Broad Bay and then transported up to the Castle. The Castle became known as ‘The Camp’ and the track heading up the hill from Broad Bay was known as ‘The Camp Track.’

Materials used to build the castle include marble from Italy, slate from Wales, glass from Venice and native wood from around New Zealand including kauri, rimu and honeysuckle. 

When finished the Castle had 43 rooms and required a staff of 46 servants.

The Ballroom built in 1885 is 3,000 square foot.

It was used as a hospital for mental patients (an overflow of patients from Seacliff Lunatic Asylum) and shell-shocked soldiers when purchased in 1906.

The Baker family (current owners) have owned the Castle since 1962.  

There have been numerous reports of ghosts over the years including an incident that took place in 1994 when Castle of Lies, a play on the Larnach family, premiered in the grand ballroom.

The original cost of construction was estimated as being between £100,000 – £150,000 which converted into today’s money is somewhere between $600 -$900 million.
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One thought on “Larnach’s Castle, New Zealand’s Only Castle.”

  1. As a young child visiting Dunedin I was always taken to the Castle and was put up on the lions by my dad and allowed to run around the gardens it’s an amazing building more so because it’s hard to imagine how the hell they got all the building materials up there !it would be hard enough now !

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