HISTORY OF “KNOLE PARK”

"Knole Park" is situated on a knole overlooking beautiful valleys and rolling country towards the sea and Durban, just over 20 kilometers away.

Its story began more than 70 years ago.

In the latter half of 1935 Mr A.J. Nurse bought 58 acres of land from Millar Bros. in Gillitts (near Durban) South Africa.  A retired builder, he built the "Knole" house himself and put it into his wife’s name. He sold various pieces of the ground, but kept about 25 acres.

He passed on in 1950, leaving the land and shares for the purposes of establishing a home for Christian Scientists.  Rest Homes Association Ltd was then formed to administer this legacy, one member from each church and society in Natal being appointed by their respective boards.

Mrs Nurse gave an option on “Knole” to Rest Homes Association Ltd for R 10,000 and when she passed on in 1956, her executor confirmed the option. Members of Rest Homes Association agreed to purchase “Knole”.

In 1957 five rooms were added to ‘Knole” and the first guests were received in February 1958. This addition was built by a firm of builders who were Christian Scientists. It soon became apparent that extensions would have to be added and, in 1960, some 18 rooms were built in a a double-storey building. The, kitchen and dining room were extended and a large lounge added.

It was built to take care of 10 to 12 permanent Christian Scientists, as well as a home for about 14 "Rest and Study" Guests. 

Meanwhile,, in 1943 Mr W. Batting had bought 1¼ acres of land adjoining “Knole” from Mr Nurse. Mr Batting was then in the Middle East acting as a Christian Science Wartime Minister. Mrs Batting was sent North to help him in December 1943.

In 1944 Mr Nurse built a garage for them and planted many flowering and other shrubs there. In early 1945 an Australian Air Force officer attached to the Royal Air Force as a test pilot came to a Christian Science service in Cairo. He had been suspended from all work and flying because of severe physical trouble. He was given three weeks leave to go to Cairo where Mr and Mrs Batting met him and took him to their quarters at Moadi (outside Cairo) and fixed him up in a room there. He was given daily help and taken care of. At the end of that period he went before a Military Medical Board and was found to be completely healed.

Whilst at Moadi he kept drawing rough sketches of a house, and then told them that he was a qualified Architect in Sydney, Australia. When he returned to his camp he drew a complete set of plans for Mr and Mrs Batting and those were the plans used for “Pleasant View”.
Mr and Mrs Batting returned to Durban towards the end of 1945, and in 1947 “Pleasant View” was built. The builder was Oswald Thompson, also a contractor, who had experienced a Christian Science healing while serving in the Western Desert with the S.A Army. Mr Batting named it “Pleasant View” after “Pleasant View” Concorde, U.S.A, the home for Christian Scientists run by The Mother Church. This was in the hope that eventually his own home would be used for the same purpose.

Thus the whole sequence of “Knole Park ” is based on Christian Science.The ground was bought by a Christian Scientist with a Christian Science practitioner’s help, and both extensions were built by builders who were Christian Scientists, with an architect for the extensions who was a Christian Scientist. “Knole Park, as the establishment is now known (owing to its park-like setting) is indeed built on the Rock of Christ- healing. Its wonderful atmosphere of peace and harmony has blessed many people.

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