Description of Historic Place
Belmont Road Main Gatehouse is an asymmetrical, two-storey building designed in the Tudor Revival Style and features two projecting half-timbered second floor gables supported by timber brackets and stone corbels, a hipped roof and two tapered chimney stacks with clay pots. Originally built to serve as the main gatehouse to the Dunsmuir’s estate, the building is located on a corner lot in the midst of the Belmont Park residential development, north of Hatley Castle. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Belmont Road Main Gatehouse is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Belmont Road Main Gatehouse is associated with the manifestation of great wealth and lavish estates created by leading Canadian industrialists at the beginning of the 20th century. During the first phase of the site’s development between 1908-1937, the building initially served as the main gatehouse and an essential component of J. Dunsmuir’s Edwardian estate, then in 1912, when the principal road to the castle was relocated it became the private residence of John Graham, the estate manager (1913-1941). The Belmont Road Main Gatehouse is also associated with the expansion of the Canadian Armed Forces and the development of its professional training programs during and after WWII. During this second phase of the site’s development, DND purchased the estate to establish the Royal Roads University, at which time the gatehouse became a naval sentry, and later the headquarters of the Colwood RCMP detachment.
The Belmont Road Main Gatehouse is a very good example of the Tudor Revival Style applied to a gatehouse building type. Designed to serve as a gatehouse and residence, the building has been successfully adapted to serve many functions. The Belmont Road Main Gatehouse is solid and elegant, and demonstrates the use of high quality materials and craftsmanship in the great variety of exterior stone finishes and the fine interior joinery.
The Belmont Road Main Gatehouse is a central feature of the Belmont Park residential development where it is compatible with the 1940s housing in the surrounding neighbourhood.
Andrew Waldron, Belmont Road Main Gatehouse (BEL 13), Royal Roads University, Colwood, British Columbia. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 99-137; Belmont Road Main Gatehouse (BEL 13), Royal Roads University, Colwood, British Columbia. Heritage Character Statement 99-137.
The character-defining elements of the Belmont Road Main Gatehouse should be respected.
Its early role as a surviving element of the Dunsmuir Edwardian estate as illustrated in:
-its Tudor Revival style and its fine craftsmanship and materials.
Its Tudor Revival Style and its high quality materials and craftsmanship as manifested in:
-the building’s asymmetrical composition which features a square ground floor plan, surmounted by an overhanging L-shaped second floor and hipped roof;
-its Tudor Revival details such as half-timber construction, irregular rubble masonry walls, buttresses, and gently tapered chimneys, dressed quoins and corbels, and the entrance porch with its stone walls, steps and ogee archway framed with moulded quoins;
-the well-crafted exterior construction and fine interior joinery including the baseboards, panelling, trim, mouldings and mantle piece.
The building’s compatibility with the residential character of the setting as evidenced in:
-its modest scale and distinctive appearance; and,
-its central location and community function.