Rattenbury’s chauffeur and 1913 Cadillac in front of Coach House

The building at the northwest corner of the GNS Beach Campus, known as the Coach House, was originally the garage belonging to “Iechinihl,” the home of noted Victoria architect Francis Mawson Rattenbury.

In 1930s, following his purchase of the property for Glenlyon Preparatory School, founding headmaster Major Ian Simpson built a two-storey classroom addition onto the garage. Although much-altered over the years, the Coach House remains one of the character-defining elements of the campus, and a place of fond memories for generations of children.

As part of the GNS Beach Campus renewal, the Coach House is being carefully deconstructed and relocated to allow for a safe garage access while preserving the significant Garry oak tree. When the project is complete, the Coach House, reborn better than ever and nearby its historic location, will become the school’s new Music Room.

From November 8 on, the work on this project to conserve Rattenbury’s Coach House will begin. The process will involve the complete disassembly and reconstruction of the building over the next 11 months. After various pieces of architectural ornament are removed and saved for later reinstallation, the entire west gable front of the garage will be carefully removed in one piece and set aside. Historic brick masonry will then be disassembled and stored for later reconstruction. The eastern addition that was added in 1937 will be demolished and reconstructed from new materials later in 2020. All this work is being performed under the guidance of GNS’ heritage consultant Luxton & Associates, following the approved Heritage Alteration Permit and Parks Canada’s Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places.