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Wellesley House

203, Lighthouse Street, Goderich, Town of, Ontario, N7A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1985/11/09

Of note is the protruding sun porch and ivy covered stone fence.; Kayla Jonas, 2007.
Northwest Corner; Wellesley House, 2007
Of note is the wide front verandah.; Kayla Jonas, 2007.
North Elevation, Wellesley House, 2007
Of note are the symmetrical shuttered windows.; Kayla Jonas, 2007.
Northeast Corner, Wellesley House, 2007

Other Name(s)

Wellesley House
203 Lighthouse Street

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1845/01/01 to 1850/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/10/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Wellesley House, located at 203 Lighthouse Street, is situated on the southeast corner of Lighthouse and Wellesley Streets in the Town of Goderich. The property consists of a two-storey white-brick residence that was constructed between 1845 and 1850.

The property was designated by the Town of Goderich in 1985 for its historical or architectural value under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 83 of 1985).

Heritage Value

The Wellesley House is associated with early Goderich settler and prominent resident William Bennett Rich who emigrated to Goderich from England in 1833. Rich was a former member of the Grenadier Guard who served at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Upon arrival in Canada, he secured a position with the Canada Company, which was based out of Goderich, and purchased 150 lots of land in the town and the surrounding Colborne Township. Rich went on to work for the British American Insurance Company, served on the first Goderich Town Council and was the secretary-treasurer to the Huron Building Society. Between 1845 and 1850 Rich constructed the solid brick residence on Lighthouse Street that remains today as a testament to William Bennett Rich and his involvement in the settlement of Goderich.

The Wellesley House is a fine example of the Georgian style of architecture with Regency influences and is an early example of local white-brick construction. Georgian influences can be seen in the square house's symmetrical design, six-over-six shuttered windows and simple yet elegant detailing. The Regency style is evident in the low hip roof, wide eaves and front verandah with French doors. The fine detailing of this structure can be seen in the ruby glass sidelights and transom surrounding the main entrance and the tall segmented arched window above the door. Also of note is the unused front entrance which is enclosed by a protruding sun porch which was an uncommon feature of this time and is one of the last remaining examples in the area.

Located on the corner of Lighthouse and Wellesley Streets, the Wellesley house occupies a prominent lot and makes a strong statement about the settlement of the town. A field-stone wall runs along two sides of the property separating the house from Lighthouse Street and provides an elegant setting for the dwelling which exists amongst large acacia trees and lilacs.

It is believed that Rich, who owned a considerable amount of land in the town, had strong influence on the naming of the streets in this area which is made evident through the location of the Wellesley house on Wellesley Street. It is thought that the name Wellesley was after the family name of the Duke of Wellington who led the Battle of Waterloo.

Source: Town of Goderich, By-Law 83 of 1985.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Wellesley House include its:
- square plan
- white-brick construction
- low hipped-roof
- symmetrical shuttered windows
- front verandah with French doors
- front entrance enclosed by a sun porch
- wide eaves
- ruby glass sidelights and transom
- segmented arched window above main entrance
- brick chimneys extending from the centre of the roof
- prominent corner location on Wellesley Street
- field-stone walls
- large acacia trees and lilacs




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1985/01/01 to 1985/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Goderich Town Hall 57 West Street Goderich, Ontario N7A 2K5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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