Description of Historic Place
Park Farm is located at 120 Meadowlily Road South, on the east side of Meadowlily Road South, west of Highbury Avenue South, north of Commissioners Road East and south of the Thames River, in the former Township of Westminster, now the City of London. The one-storey white brick residence was constructed in circa 1848, as well as a lychgate, lawns, laneway and woodlot.
The property, now part of Meadowlily Park, was designated, by the City of London, in 1995, for its architectural, historical and cultural value or interest, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law L.S.P.-3253-58).
Park Farm is an important cultural heritage landscape composed of a residence, shed, and grounds set on a wooded hill with a panoramic view of the surrounding natural areas. The numerous foot-paths provide impressive vistas within the rich, mature forest, surrounding the main building. The lawns to the northwest and the laneway, off Meadowlily Road towards Park Farm, contribute to the overall rural character of this property.
Park Farm, the main building on the Meadowlily Park property, was constructed as a residence for and by the Bell family in circa 1848. William Bell was an English farmer who arrived in Canada in the mid-1850s. The Bell family used the land primarily for agriculture until William's death, in 1877. The second owner of the Park Farm residence, in 1907, was Maxwell David Fraser. The residence, which was used primarily in the summer, was eventually turned into a prosperous dairy farm by Maxwell's son, Harrison Fraser. Harrison was a prominent barrister and solicitor, in the family firm of Fraser and Fraser. The Harrison Fraser family promoted the use of their land, by citizens of the City of London, for recreational purposes, because of its natural beauty. The property was willed to the City, in 1981, by Harrison Fraser, to be continuously used, as a public recreation space, together with a modest endowment for the maintenance of the buildings.
Park Farm is one of the finest Regency villas in London, featuring a central hall plan and a low-pitched roof. The verandah on the north and west elevations is supported by simple columns. There is a large chimney, on the south side of the roof. On the north elevation, typical of the Regency style, there are French doors, with simple brick voussoirs, which are evident in all window and door openings. Of note in the interior, are the fireplace mantels and baseboards found in the front parlour and the master bedroom, and the central hall doorway with a fanlight transom.
Sources: City of London, By-law L.S.P.-3253-58; Park Farm Landscaping Plan, 98-24 Request for Proposal.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of Park Farm include its:
- white brick construction
- fieldstone foundation
- central hall plan
- low-pitched roof
- verandah on the north and west elevations supported by simple columns
- simple four-panel front door, sidelights and lower panels
- French doors on the north side
- large chimney on the south side of the roof
- original 6 over 6 windows with sidelights
- simple brick voussoirs in all window and door openings
- small tongue and groove shed at the back of the house
- five fireplaces, especially the Georgian influenced fireplace mantels and baseboards in the front parlour and master bedroom
- simple four-paneled doors
- central hall doorway with fanlight transom
- wide plank chestnut floors
- siting on a hilltop with panoramic views of the surrounding natural areas
- foot paths, lawns, woodlots and long laneway