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Baron Von Mackensen House

9564 192 Streeet, Surrey, British Columbia, V4N, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1998/11/02

Exterior view of the Baron Von Mackensen House, 2004; Donald Luxton and Associates, 2004
Oblique view from the rear
Exterior view of the Baron Von Mackensen House, 2004; Donald Luxton and Associates, 2004
Oblique view from the front
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Other Name(s)

Baron Von Mackensen House
The Castle

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Baron Von Mackensen House is a two storey, wood-frame, Late Victorian house with Edwardian additions, now located on the main pedestrian street in Port Kells, Surrey.

Heritage Value

The Baron Von Mackensen House is valued for its representation of the early development of Port Kells, conceived as a fresh water port on the banks of the Fraser River. The townsite was laid out in 1889, and two years later became a stop on the New Westminster Southern Railway. Development was sporadic, but there was hope that the area would benefit from the Canadian National Railway's development initiatives at nearby Port Mann. These grandiose plans failed to materialize and the area remained primarily agricultural until the construction of the Trans Canada Highway in the 1960s facilitated industrial development in the area.

The house is significant for its association with Baron Carl Von Mackensen, a German national, who purchased the Bryce family home in 1910. The house became the focus of social activity in the Port Kells area, with many occasions celebrated there, including an annual Christmas party. Baron Von Mackensen was well liked by the community until the First World War broke out. Rumours arose about his spying activities, and the Baron was interned at Vernon, B.C. and his property was confiscated and sold. In July 1919, he was deported to Germany.

The house is valued as a grand manor house from the early twentieth century. The original section of the house was initially constructed by the Bryce family at the turn of the twentieth century. Under the ownership of Baron Von Mackensen, the house was enlarged with the addition of the large east-west wing. The addition included a landmark nine metre tall square bell tower, complete with bell. Located on the high point of the property, the house dominated the surrounding area. Inside, an open central hall with a grand staircase led off to the home's sixteen rooms. Adding to the speculation of Von Mackensen's spying activities were the internal passageways between rooms, which connected through communicating closets.

Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of Surrey

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Baron Von Mackensen House include its:
- location at the top of a rise, prominent in the area;
- form, scale and massing as exemplified in the two storey, irregular shape;
- combination of Late Victorian and Edwardian style and detailing;
- asymmetrical roofline: partially hipped roof with gabled south elevation; gable dormers; square bell tower; flared dormer eaves; and hipped roofs over two bay windows on south floor main elevation;
- gabled entrance porticos with flared eaves on south and west elevations;
- wood shingle cladding: mostly coursed, with staggered shingle pattern on the upper portion of the second-storey west elevation; fish-scale patterning in the gable ends on the south and west porticos; and alternating fish-scale and diamond patterning in the south gable end;
- fenestration, including: double-hung 1-over-1 wood-sash windows; and paired wood-sash casement with single transom above;
- two internal corbelled brick chimneys; and
- surviving interior features, including passageways between interior rooms through closets.



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1910/01/01 to 1915/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling



Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Planning Files, City of Surrey

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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