Archaeologists search for artifacts at historic Craigflower Manor before new community centre begins construction


WATCH: It’s one of Canada’s national historic sites. But the land around View Royal’s Craigflower Manor House is going to undergo changes. Aaron Guillen has more on who’s digging around the property and what they’re looking for.

A peek into the past is what archaeologists are looking for on the property of the Craigflower Manor.

Crews are searching inch-by-inch of this large field for evidence.

“We’re hoping that we might be able to find some 19th century remains associated with the farmhouse occupation we can learn more about the site,” says Elise McLellan, heritage resource officer of BC’s Heritage Branch.

The Craigflower Manor you see today was part of a much larger landscape.

During the early settlement of Victoria, the Mackenzie family lived at the farmhouse.

They managed mills, stables, and workers houses.

The manor is one of only two remaining structures from early settlements that date back to the late 1800s.

“That’s why it’s preserved as a heritage site,” says McLellan.

“To preserve that snapshot that we have of Victoria’s history.”

But now the heritage site is getting ready to welcome a new neighbour.

The Victoria Highland Games Association, co-caretakers of the land, have a dream to build a 10,000 square foot community centre.

“We really think we’re well placed on a jewel of a property,” says Jim Maxwell, president of Victoria Highland Games Association.

“The last piece we need is what you saw today. Just a couple of tick the boxes on the environmental and archaeological end of things.”

But before construction can begin, these archaeologists are working to ensure that buried artifacts aren’t damaged before they can be found.

“We found a lot of bottles that are from Scotland,” says McLellan.

“It’s an interesting part of the cultural history of the site cause it points to occupants and where they come from.”

If they get the all clear, the Highland Association will begin building the new community hub, in the same place their ancestors once settled in hundreds of years ago.


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