Cary Castle Mews
The Cary Castle Mews is a cluster of 19th century wooden service buildings located on the southeast side of the Government House estate. The Mews consists of stables, a carriage house, a gaol, a root cellar, a wash house and a poultry house (part of which was later used as a gardener’s cottage).
These onsite buildings have been used as support buildings to Government House since their construction in the 1870s. Thanks to the efforts of the Government House Foundation, some of the buildings have been rehabilitated and are now outfitted for the public to enjoy.
The Cary Castle Mews is also home to the Lawrence J. Patten Heraldry Exhibit. This display was created by the British Columbia branch of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada, whose mission is to promote heraldry, particularly Canadian heraldry, and to encourage an interest in the subject among Canadians. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about the history, design, colour and language of heraldry and view examples of heraldic shields.
The Costume Museum is located in the Carriage House and showcases a large variety of period pieces, as well as rotating special exhibits. From former Lieutenant Governors’ uniforms and Chatelaines’ dresses to an original butler’s uniform, the Museum takes visitors on a sartorial journey through the history of the Estate and Office of the Lieutenant Governor. These historical artifacts are from both the Government House collection and thanks to the generosity of several donors. Visitors to the Costume Museum will also see the historic Landau Carriage on display. In 1901, the Landau was used by the Duke and Duchess of York and Cornwall (later King George V and Queen Mary) on their tour of Victoria and Esquimalt.
For the 2023 season, the Costume Museum will feature a salute to the 30th anniversary of The Friends of Government House Gardens Society, honouring the Honourable David Lam, 25th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, who helped initiate the revitalization of the gardens in the 1990s. There will also be a showcase of the fashions of the Honourable Iona Campagnolo, 27th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, a celebration the Coronation of King Charles III, and a historic display recounting the fire that destroyed one of the original Government Houses in 1955.
Opening Day: Tuesday, May 23, 2023
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Closed: Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and statutory holidays
Final Day: Friday, September 1, 2023