Description of Historic Place
The Gatehouse Lodge, also known as Building RR8, is a well-proportioned, two-storey, stone building designed in the Tudor Revival style. It features steeply pitched gable roofs clad with slate and accented with corbelled gable ends, tall casement windows with stone-mullioned frames, square-arched labels over the windows and doors, and a decorative chimney cluster. Originally built to serve as a private residence for on-site employees of the Dunsmuir estate, the Gatehouse Lodge is located on the corner of Mayne Avenue and Sooke Road, at one of the entrances to the Royal Roads University. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Gatehouse Lodge is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Gatehouse Lodge 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 was an essential component of James Dunsmuir’s Edwardian estate, located at the principal entrance to the property, and served as a private residence for on-site employees. The Gatehouse Lodge is also associated with the expansion of the Canadian Armed Forces and the development of its professional training programs during and after the Second World War. During this second phase of the site’s development, the Department of National Defence purchased the estate to establish the Royal Roads University, at which time the Gatehouse Lodge became the executive officer’s residence.
The Gatehouse Lodge is a very good example of the Tudor Revival style as illustrated by the steeply pitched gable roofs, corbelled gable ends, and tall windows with stone-mullioned frames and label mouldings. Elegant and solidly built, the Gatehouse Lodge is constructed of high quality materials and craftsmanship as evident in the exterior stonework and stone details, as well as the interior joinery.
Located at a secondary entrance road leading to the Royal Roads University, the Gatehouse Lodge sets the tone for the campus and reinforces the estate character of the institution. Visually prominent owing to its high quality design and location along Sooke Road, the Gatehouse Lodge is familiar to military personnel living in the permanent married quarters in the surrounding area.
Sources: Andrew Waldron, Gatehouse Lodge (RR8), Royal Roads University, Colwood, British Columbia. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 99-098; Gatehouse Lodge (RR8), Royal Roads University, Colwood, British Columbia. Heritage Character Statement 99-098.
The character-defining elements of the Gatehouse Lodge should be respected.
Its Tudor Revival style and high quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the building’s well-proportioned scale and composition consisting of a box hall plan with corbelled gable ends, steeply pitched gable roofs and a central cluster of chimneys;
- the tall, casement windows with stone-mullioned frames, some of which are grouped in triplets;
- the use of square-arched dripstones or label mouldings over the windows and doors;
- the exterior stonework including the irregular rubble walling with rustic Haddington Island stone corner quoins;
- the use of English green slate roofing;
- the rich interior detailing such as the exposed floor beams, the pilastered mantle piece, and glazed brick fireplace opening with cast iron register.
The manner in which the building reinforces the pastoral character of the present day institution, as evidenced in:
- its compatibility with the park-like Edwardian campus and the other buildings that were formerly part of the estate;
- the building’s visual prominence owing to its design and location at one of the entrances to the university on the corner of Mayne Avenue and Sooke Road, in close proximity to the permanent married quarters.