William Knell's houses
William Knell built several of the local houses in Farnborough and lived in The Sycamores for a short time in 1871. Here is the list of the houses that we can track down that he lived in while building others. The 1974 map below shows the location of the houses in the southern part of Farnborough Park. As you can see, there are not exactly many houses at the time. To the north were Farnborough Place and Farnborough Hill.
None of the above houses were built in 1859 according to White's Gazetteer
1861: None of the above houses were built in 1861 according to the 1861 census.
William Knell was listed as living in Park lodge in 1865 before moving on to Castleden hall after it was built. We assume that Park lodge became known as Park house at a later date After it had been knocked through to Mapperton lodge next door, it became known as Belgrave house. By the 1932 it had became Belgrave House School. It was demolished in the 1960s to make way for Farnborough Technical College.
Photographs of Belgrave house in 1961) are held in the Wallop family photo album in the Hampshire Records Office -15M84/5/14/28 [closed until March 2008]
1867: William Knell lived in Castleden hall for a short time in 1867. Kelly's Guide
The maps above show Castleden hall soon after is was built by William Knell in 1874 and it had become Farnborough School by 1881 was extended in the early 1900s.
An advert for the sale of Castleden hall as a "building estate" was placed in The Times ©, Thursday, Oct 17, 1935.
Planning permission was requested to convert Castleden hall into flats on the 19th August 1936 (Hampshire Records office - 151M71/BP2111) but it looks like this was rejected and the house was sadly demolished by 1938.
The land seems to have remained unused until occupied by Farnborough College of Technology after 1955. The college had its origins Royal Aircraft Establishment Technical School started in 1943 which was housed in the old Hillside Convent (The same Hillside convent school that moved to The Sycamores in 1915) opposite the land occupied by Castleden hall and Park house (later Belgrave house school). In 1955 the college moved across the road from the convent.
1871: William Knell was living in the house according to the 1871 census, it was built
before 1865 as Thomas Scovell lived in the house in that year.
In the late 1860's, William Knell built, but didn't live in, Knellwood. Knellwood is a residential care home today
1875: William Knell probably moved back to Park house in 1872 after General Sir Thomas McMahon moved into The Sycamores. He was certainly in Park house in 1875 according to the Post Office Directory of Hampshire, Wiltshire & Dorset .
1878: William Knell was listed as living in Park house in 1878 according to White's Gazetteer.
National Archives: 18 Oct. 1878 - 17 Nov. 1888. Papers, including correspondence, relating to mortgage of Mapperton Lodge and Park House at Farnborough by Chas. Master to John Weld.
1880: William Knell had moved into Forest lodge by 1880 according to the 1880 Kelly's Guide. The house was already occupied in 1865 by a Sir david Wood according to the Harrod & Co.'s Directory of Hampshire & Isle of Wight, 1865 so the house was not built by William Knell either. It looks like Forest lodge and The Sycamores were built around the same time in the early 1860s.
The Times ©, Wednesday, Dec 17, 1919:
The Times © Friday, Sep 14, 1923:
Following the death of Agatha Scott (Wife of Lieut. Colonel Lothian Scott who had lived in the house since at least 1891), Forest lodge was bought by Rushmoor Borough Council in 1924 (Hampshire Records office - 151M71/DDC/F/89) and was demolished by 1938, to be replaced by another building by 1946 which was eventually replaced by Rushmoor Council's offices in the 1960s.
And the first council offices built by 1946
1881: William Knell was listed as living in the "new house" in the 1881 census. We assume this to be Bifrons
1886: It is thought that William Knell died in the Bifrons in 1886 aged 76.
Bifrons house was used as an old peoples home from 1952 and eventually closed in 1986 and converted into flats (Hampshire Records Office -H/ES2/2/28)
The western side of Bifrons (Byfrons now) in 2007