Some of the history of our remarkable house is obscure, but we do know a little bit. Henry Young and his wife Matilda Benyon had two sons, Harry and William. Young Harry was sent back to England to go to university. He fell in love with Tennyson (from whence the poem and our name, 'Albion Manor') and with a young woman named Stella. In order to lure the lovers back to Victoria from the lights and glitter of London, Henry and Matilda built this house as a wedding present. It was built in 1892 and cost a staggering $3,500.00. The family lived in the house until the 1920's and then little is known.
In the photo, standing on the verandah are Harry, Stella and William's wife Madge. William took the photo in the late 1890's. The details on the house are seen exactly as they appear today. Even the down spout from the eaves trough is the same. The old climbing rose has been removed, but the rest of the details are as you would have seem them in 1892
We are both artists - Don has an extensive history with theatrical design and Fernando has a degree from Artes Aplicades is Seville and studied for a Fine Arts degree at Simon Fraser University. Together we have created a warm and welcoming home for guests - a home decorated with an eclectic collection of antiques and original artwork from around the world and surrounded with a lush garden that is our passion.
On entering the house, guests are greeted by the indomitable Maria de Medici, one of Fernando's spectacular creations. The walls of the living room, dining room and the halls are a veritable canvas of paintings, sketches, etchings and sculptures. There are treasures from the jungles of Papua New Guinea, carvings brought out of Northern Thailand on the back of an elephant, and antiques from the back streets of Kyoto, Japan.
Albion Manor is surrounded by a lush English country garden that provides guest with an oasis in which to relax and unwind at the end of a working day or a busy day of sightseeing. Enjoy a drink on the large verandah or take a walk around the grounds and explore the Obelisk Garden, the setting for several unique sculptures including: the Playwrights' Font, Anicha, and Fernando's 'Hamburger'.
You're only young once,
but you can stay immature indefinitely.
I grew up in a little hamlet in one of the driest part of Andalucia, Spain. My early memories are of strong beautiful daylight contrasted with cool and serene shadows and of old ladies in black sitting statically like ancient goddess overseeing my destiny in the calm of the middle of the day. And I remember the smell of jasmines and the cries of swallows flying over our patio.
My family moved to Seville. There the muse brought me to the beauty and inspiration of visual art. I studied and practiced ceramics for almost twenty years. When I moved to Vancouver the muse showed me that I still can play with the grandest of ideas and concepts using the smallest and most humble of things. In Victoria, my muse has remained with me, helping me make the atmosphere, our rooms and our garden at Albion House reflect all that I believe in about art and life. And don't forget, some of the brightest, most interesting colours on our palette come from you and our other guests. You bring life to our masterpiece.
I grew up in the mountains of Alberta. We fished in mountain streams, rode horses and hiked in the woods. In my youth, I worked as a miner, as a farm hand and as an organizer in the storage warehouses of a major museum. I have worked as a designer in television, film and on the stage. I have built my own house. I have traveled to England, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Morocco, Thailand, Burma, the US, Australia and Japan.
In 1992, I was in Seville working at a Creative Director at Expo ’92. One night at a party in Seville, I met a young man. He was Fernando and for the last 15 years, we have lived in Korea, England and Italy before coming back to British Columbia — first for 6 years in Vancouver. We have ended up here in Victoria at this unbelievable house. We are living a dream running Albion Manor, our heritage bed and breakfast and sharing our international art treasures with an extraordinary range of wonderful guests. Our life is incredibly stimulating and we look forward to welcoming you when you visit Victoria — whether you stay overnight on your way to another destination, a week while you explore the many wonders of Victoria and the Island, or if you come as a snow-bird to escape the winter.
Did I mention that the daffodils start blooming in January?