Blackfriar Estate – The Bishop’s Palace

Perched on the hill at the end of Central Avenue overlooking Blackfriar’s Bridge in London Ontario is a mansion called Blackfriar Estate. The building has also been known as The Bishop’s Palace, and was originally named Firbrae.





This Italianate estate home was built in 1870 by Thomas Kent whose father was granted much of the land along the river by the Crown of England in the 1840’s. Despite selling off most of the land, this parcel was retained by the family and Thomas built the home after selling some of the remaining land along the river to the City of London.

Thomas Kent, inset his father John Kent

When Thomas died without an heir the house was purchased for Bishop Fallon by John Donnelly and the property became the residence of 6 Roman Catholic Bishops until 2008.










The property is now owned by Blackfriar Estate Condominiums which has made an obvious effort to retain much of the historical features of the building, while updating it for contemporary living. The building includes 3 main suites which are equipped complete with fireplaces, kitchens and bathroom facilities. Enjoy this visual tour of the three suites, the ceiling medallions and fireplaces are all original as are many features that remain within the building.






















































































































About Misstoricalfiction

Historian, researcher and writer specializing in historical fiction with a supernatural twist. By day marketing specialist in the insurance industry.

Posted on October 5, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Great job, Roxanne, in bringing to our attention this wonderful property so well refurbished and restored.

  2. Love to hear about all of these stately old homes. What a rich slice of the past they embody!

  3. Thank you both. Yes, it is reassuring to be able to look up on the hill and see the house that has stood there for years. I love it when I look at photos from the late 1800’s and am able to recognize buildings that are still around today. It makes me feel more connected to our history in this city.

  4. Great photos! It’s nice to see people taking interest in historic homes and local history. Thomas Kent was my great great great uncle.

  5. Frances Henry

    What a beautiful home rich in local Catholic history. Its a hidden gem that most don’t know about. It should be a museum for all to enjoy. Great photos.

  6. Hi I am one of the project designers and owners. Nice write up. You might be interested in knowing that the ugly 1950s garage has been torn down and replaced with a new garage and a new Condo. The new build was done with prime of place to historical sensitivity. We used 200 year old brick, lime based morter and we coined the brick pattern. This is the work of Dan Blackmore whose love of historical brick techniques is unlike any one else. Oh by the way the original house is 4 units. Finally 90 Central has joined Raliegh House, 94 Central and soon 651 Talbot….all historical buildings which have or will be fully restored and re purposed. In the end it appears that Blackfriar Estate Condominiums will be around 24 units. Great news for heritage properties….lets hope it can happen more!!!!

    Denis Campeau

  7. Beautiful house. I just got to see this palace today, and it’s breathtaking. The owners are doing a great job of preserving this property.

  8. For those interested in the property we have just restored the chimneys to their original towering beauty. Over the years they have been stripped away and reduced almost to the roof line. We found photographs all the way back to the late 19th century and restored the chimneys to the original proportions. We also used reclaimed historical brick and lime based mortar. Now the exterior is almost identical to the look of the house from the last major addition of the front porch in 1914. Jamie More did the historical brick work and is an artist!!!

    Denis Campeau

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