This historic site is the oldest family residence in London, Ontario. This house has been perfectly preserved, maintained, and furnished with unique antiques and Harris family treasures by the City of London since 1960. This house was built for John and Melia Harris in 1834 and remained in the Harris family for four generations; it wasn’t until 1960 that the family donated the Eldon House to the City of London.
Eldon house is a perfect example of Regency and Georgian architectural styles, and its gardens are considered one of the most beautiful gardens in the city. Eldon House originally consisted of 13 acres and initially extended along the Thames River towards -the then-known Great Market Street- Central Avenue.
The property surrounding the Eldon House on top of the hill has had garden beds since 1840. On the flat area by the river, bigger vegetables were planted; they eventually covered more than 6 acres of land and needed five -full-time- gardeners to take care of them. The iconic garden urns and benches in this garden have been there since the 1890s after Lucy Ronalds Harris inherited them from her English relations. The family finances improved during this time, allowing them to create more garden areas.
The Harris family also added a conservatory to the drawing room and a greenhouse in the late nineteenth century. In the early 1980s, a decision was made to restore the gardens to a very similar state to when the Harris family owned them. With the help of Western Ontario University and Guelph University experts, the gardens were authentically recreated using family pictures, seed catalogs, gardening articles, and magazines.
Besides guided and self-guided tours, Eldon House offers afternoon tea in front of the front porch, educational programs, and many other experiences all year round for students and visitor groups of all ages.