As part of the “Doors Open London”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review?id=200821 event this past September, I visited “Grosvenor Lodge”:https://heritagelondonfoundation.ca/grosvenor-lodge/ a heritage property in London, Ontario. The lodge is set back from the road near Western University. From 1853 to 1974 it was the home of the Peters’ family. It was a farm house, albeit on a grander scale than many in the county and has a lovely veranda on two sides of the building. The initial farm consisted of 500 acres though the house is now within the city of London.
Samuel and Anne Peters were from Merton, Devon and immigrated to Canada in 1835.The house is built in the Tudor Gothic style and was built by Samuel Peters Jr, the nephew and namesake of the owner. A volunteer provided a group of us with some information about the house before we entered then a couple of volunteers, dressed as Samuel and Anne Peters, gave us a tour of the ground floor. The stained glass windows on either side of the front door incorporate the initials of Samuel and Anne. A couple of fireplaces on the ground floor were also lovely to see. In addition to being a farmer, Samuel was a butcher, grocer and mason. In 1842 he was a founding member of a masonic lodge and served as worshipful master. He was also instrumental in getting St. Paul’s Cathedral built after a fire destroyed St. Paul’s Church in 1844.
At the back of the house is a lovely butterfly garden. As I stood taking pictures of the flowers, a Monarch butterfly landed on my shirt. I amazed myself at being able to get photographic proof!
The last Peters sold the property to the University of Western Ontario in 1972 and continued to live in the house until her death in 1974. A condition of the sale was that the house be preserved as a historic site. For a time the house was the Lawson Museum and History Centre but now it is the London Regional Resource Centre for Heritage and the Environment. It belongs to the city of London and is managed by Heritage London Foundation.
Although it is available for hire for personal and corporate events, the building isn’t often open to the public so I was glad I had this opportunity to see inside. I noticed it was also open at Halloween for a special spooky event – paying guests ($10) were locked in the mansion and had to find clues and complete challenges in order to escape; a Victorian mansion take on an escape room. In December there are two Christmas lunches scheduled – one for retirement homes and one for corporate clients.