6511 Dyke Road, Richmond, B.C., V7E 3R3
Phone/Fax: 604 271 5220
In 1879, the London brothers, William (17) and Charles (16), arrived in British Columbia from Ontario. In 1881 the brothers purchased a 200-acre landmass along the South Arm of the Fraser River for a mere $2000. They began the arduous task of draining the land for farming. Upon Charles?marriage to Henrietta in the mid 1880’s, construction of the original London Heritage House began. Today, the house is still situated in its original location and operated and maintained by the London Heritage Farm Society. It is owned by the City of Richmond.
For a building well over 100 years old, the London Heritage Home is remarkably accessible. The London Heritage Farm Society has worked hard to create access for people with disabilities, while maintaining the building’s original architectural style and features. The house is open to the public with entrance by donation. Escorted house tours are available or you can tour on your own. Sign language tours are not available, so it is recommended to bring your own interpreters. Wheelchair access is available on the first floor of the home. Inside, people will find glimpses of the past. The home is decorated and furnished in the eras 1880 thru 1940. To give a glimpse of family life during these times, six rooms display furniture, accessories, pictures, photographs, clothing, quilts, etc. A quaint country-style tearoom, which seats up to 25 people, can also be found inside the home on the first floor. London Farm's own blend of tea "London Lady" as well as home made scones with jam and other sweets are served on fine English bone china for $5.00 per person, while jams, jellies, dried flowers and hand crafts are for sale in the gift shop. Parking is recommended along Dyke Road, however accessible parking can be found on the farm grounds by displaying a handicap-parking placard, available at the Richmond DRC. Calling the London Heritage Farm ahead of time will ensure accessibility and proper accommodations. There are various sites to be seen both inside and out of the original London Home. The farm property offers glimpses of rural farm life in the times of early English settlement in Richmond, including a tool shed with antique tools and equipment. On the east side of the house there are lovely heritage style herb and flower gardens, a rose arbour, gourd house, fruit trees and the fruit garden and beehives. In the west pasture there are 69 allotment gardens. There are accessible public washrooms available on the farm grounds, but I struggled a bit with a bump at the entrance. Once inside, access is great and includes large stalls with raised toilets, grab bars and easy-to-lock doors; lowered mirrors, soap and towel dispensers and sinks with levered handles; and an uncluttered concrete floor area. The grounds are mainly grass, but kept trimmed and relatively simple to wheel across.
The South Arm of the Fraser River is a beautiful part of Richmond, and a great place to plan a day with friends, with family or with a date. Start your day at the London Heritage Farm and then venture out onto the accessible Dyke trail. It leads for miles around Richmond with spectacular views of the river and ocean and surrounding land. Highlights along the trail include the London Heritage Farm; the Britannia Heritage Shipyard & Mirikami House; Steveston Village and Fisherman’s Warf; the Gulf of Georgia Cannery; and Garry Point Park. I know this summer I will be going back to the London Heritage Farm. On a rainy January day like today, all I can do is imagine the smells of fresh cut grass and summer flowers flowing through my nose on a refreshing river breeze, while the sun warms my skin. It makes me wish it was July and I was back at the London Heritage Farm. The Richmond DRC recognizes the London Heritage Farm as an accessible destination.