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Cargill’s Castle, Dunedin

Cargill’s Castle, Dunedin

One of only two castles in New Zealand, Cargill’s Castle is a unique (and very rundown) piece of local history. It’s officially off limits, but you can view it from the street. The castle is derelict to say the least — it looks like the kind of place Jesse Pinkman would go to “do some crystal”. It’s a far different experience than a visit to Larnach Castle, Dunedin’s more upmarket castle.

How to Access Cargill’s Castle

Head down Isadore street (in the suburb of St Clair, just up from St Clair Beach) and you’ll eventually see the ruins of Cargill’s Castle. That’s the best view you’ll get as it’s closed to the public — such a shame to see a place like this left to ruin with no accessibility.  Hopefully this changes in the future. 

READ MORE: 30 Fun Things to Do in Dunedin

Cargill's Castle from Isadore Street, Dunedin, New Zealand

The Castle

You’re probably wondering why Cargill’s Castle is so small, and that’s a valid question. To be honest it’s more of a big house than a castle, but it’s still an interesting piece of history. Cargill’s Castle was built in 1877 (using concrete) and passed through many hands after its original owner, local businessman and politician Edward Bowes Cargill, died. Its road to eventual ruin began in 1974 with a partial demolition.

My friend used to live right next door and I remember going over there one time — it was creepy then and it still is. A trust has taken control of the castle and is apparently trying to shore up the ruins and open it back up to the public, which I’ve been hearing for years.  No improvement,  no access in the five years since I first published this post. 

READ MORE: 30 Stunning Viewpoints in Dunedin

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who has just returned home after 6 years abroad. Join me as I see as much of the South Island as I can.