During their royal tour of 1927, the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and the Queen Mother), stayed at Longbeach, the South Canterbury home of the Griggs. The homestead was originally built by John Grigg, who purchased land in 1864 and at one time owned 32,000 acres between the Ashburton and Hinds rivers. By 1927 much of the land had been sold, but the genteel way of life continued and pursuits such as horse riding and hunting were still followed. The duke and duchess's daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, also stayed at Longbeach during the royal tour of 1953–54.
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