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Craigflower Schoolhouse

2755 Admirals Road, Saanich, British Columbia, V9A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1980/06/06

Craigflower Schoolhouse in the late 19th Century; BC Heritage Branch
Craigflower Schoolhouse in the late 19th Century
Craigflower Schoolhouse; BC Heritage Branch
Front (southwest) elevation
No Image

Other Name(s)

Craigflower Schoolhouse
Craigflower School

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/08/13

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Craigflower Schoolhouse is a two-storey, gable-roofed building on Admirals Road, just north of the Craigflower Bridge in Saanich, BC. The land on which the schoolhouse sits is on the shore of the Gorge Waterway, and includes an ancient archaeological site.

Heritage Value

Craigflower Schoolhouse remains as the oldest school in British Columbia, and is a rare example of a nineteenth century schoolhouse in western Canada. Constructed in 1854 by the Colony of Vancouver Island for the children of nearby Craigflower Farm and the surrounding area, this school is a significant monument to the early educational system in British Columbia, which was based on the principle of free non-sectarian education for all.

Craigflower Schoolhouse is valued as the oldest surviving public building in British Columbia. As one of British Columbia's few surviving structures which predates the 1858 gold rush, this school is an excellent example of early vernacular building construction in the province. Architecturally, its value lies in its utilitarian form, large massing, simple construction, and understated detailing, which provide insight into the functional nature of the Province's earliest public works.

Source: BC Heritage Branch property files

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining element of the Craigflower Schoolhouse include:
- the archaeological site on which the school sits
- the situation of the schoolhouse on its original site
- exterior features, such as the simple gable roof, horizontal clapboard siding and windows with original imported glass
- the historic materials and construction (dating from 1854-1911) as evident in the building style, form, and features, such as the wood framing, the large brick fireplace in the schoolroom, the tongue and groove woodwork in the fireplace wall, the ten-inch-wide floorboards, and the white plaster walls
- the patina, and evidence of use, examples of which can be seen in the floor, the stair treads, and the angle of the building
- the spatial configuration of the school room and the rooms of the upper storey
- the steep stairwell



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Province of British Columbia

Recognition Statute

Heritage Conservation Act, s.9, s.13(1)(a)

Recognition Type

Provincial Heritage Site (Designated)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land
Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type


Historic or Interpretive Site


Single Dwelling
One-Room School

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Branch file no. 27000-30-CO-05

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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General view

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