Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Box Hill

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Box Hill is a beauty spot on the North Downs, near Dorking, in Surrey. Looking south on a fine day- like yesterday- you can see across two counties to the Devil's Dyke and Chanctonbury Ring.

Janeites will know it as the place where Emma snubbed Miss Bates and was reprimanded by Mr Knightley.

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Peter Labelliere (actually Labilliere) was a friend of Benjamin Franklin's, a supporter of the American revolution, an enlightenment thinker, a lover of Box Hill- and a magnet for tall stories. One of them- which is at least partly true- is that he chose to be buried with his head down because "the world is topsy-turvy and I will be righted at the last". Another story has him stipulating that his landlady's children should dance on his coffin. The grave (he was buried in unconsecrated ground and without religious ceremony) lies beside a footpath behind the visitor's centre.
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