The people who have made Box Hill special
It’s the people in Box Hill's history that make it such a special place. Our viewpoint is dedicated to the generous city financier Leopold Salomons who bought 230 acres of Box Hill in 1914 and donated it to the National Trust to protect it from development.
Box Hill has a long history of being popular with creative society and has inspired some classic writings. John Keats, Daniel Defoe, George Meredith and Robert Louis Stevenson were all visitors. J.M. Barrie used to sit at the bottom of the same slope, getting inspiration for his classic book Peter Pan.
In Jane Austen's book Emma, the famous picnic scene was set on the Burford Spur. ‘Emma had never been to Box Hill; she wished to see what everybody found so well worth seeing.’
John Logie Baird, the inventor of television, lived in Swiss Cottage at the top of Box Hill. He conducted his early experiments in television broadcasting in the 1930s from the summit of Box Hill to the valley below.
to the weird and wonderful
Perhaps Box Hill's strangest character was Major Peter Labelliere who, at his own request, was buried upside down on the Hill. He believed ‘the world is turned topsy-turvy therefore he would be the right way up in the end.’
His other dying wish was for the youngest son and daughter of his land lady to dance on his coffin. During the burial someone stole the wooden bridge over the River Mole. So the mourners had to wade through the river or take a lengthy detour home.