Knoll Hill given away to local landowner!

When the Obelisk was built the area around was completely bare and the building was clearly visible from the London to Exeter turnpike road nearby.  Coach drivers, however, would not have lingered, but hurried on to the safely of Bagshot or Blackwater, well away from local highwaymen.

In 1801, however, the fortunes of the area changed with the Frimley Enclosure Act which gave the land, which had previously been in the care of no-one, to local landowners to improve and develop.  Knoll Hill became the property of James Laurell, who was the Lord of the Manor of Frimley.  Two years later, he swapped it for some farming land in Hawley, with the son of the man who had, most probably, built the obelisk.  John Norris (junior) had a good view of the hill from his home at Hawley Place and would have been able to see the building waiting patiently for what ever uses his father had put it to.

That would have been the beginning of a quiet period for the tower, if it had not been for the arrival of the Royal Military Academy in 1812.  More on this story, tomorrow.


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