Cruickston Park was established in 1858 by Matthew Wilks who acquired 200 acres and built onto an already substantial residence. The lands were further added to during the late 1800s to the present size of 966 acres. The farm became famous for breeding prize-winning horses while under the ownership of Katherine Langdon Wilks. After her death in 1948, her nephew Matthew Wilks Keefer modernized the farm operation and bred prize Hereford beef cattle. In 1968, Matthew gifted the estate to the University of Guelph, which took possession of it on his death in 1973. In 1996, the University disposed of the manor house and 53 acres. This was acquired by a young couple from Cambridge, Jan Chaplin and Mark Fretwurst, who later acquired the remaining 913 acres in the year 2000. Their desire is to preserve the estate for future generations.

For more information, see the "rare", Charitable Research Reserve web site located at .

Aerial Views:








802 acres in the Township of North Dumfries, and 110.1 acres in the City of Cambridge, of which 15.3 acres are islands.


University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1